Data is collected and sold through the guise of a firmware update app.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, an Android phone called the Singtech P10 that’s sold in Myanmar and Cambodia actively collects various bits of information from users of the phone and sells it to an advertising company called General Mobile Corp. (aka GMobi) in Taiwan.
Per The Wall Street Journal:
Taipei-based GMobi, with a subsidiary in Shanghai, says it uses the data to show targeted ads on the devices. It also sometimes shares the data with device makers to help them learn more about their customers.
As for what kind of data is being shared, it’s reported that the GMobi app gathers IMEI numbers, MAC addresses, and even location data that’s then sent off to GMobi servers over in Singapore.
Full article – androidcentral.com