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Google News bug reportedly led one user to receive a $240 data bill

Some Google News users have reported that the app has been using excessive amounts of background data.

Published onOctober 23, 2018

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  • Some Google News users are reporting that the app used an excessive amount of background data.
  • The first report of the issue was said to have been made in June, while the most recent was made just last week.
  • Google says it is looking into the issue.

Google News appears to have a bug that is causing it to use huge amounts of background data without users knowing. The issue, which was reported on the Google forums and spotted by The Verge, has apparently affected users in Japan, the U.S., and the U.K.

The initial post was made by a user named J J F at the beginning of September. In the report, the user stated that the app used 7.65GB of data overnight. The user said the device was connected to Wi-Fi, but also mentioned that the signal was weak and may have been connecting and disconnecting. A more extreme example of the bug was reported by a user who said the app used 19GB of data without their knowledge which apparently led to a charge of $240.

@Google @GooglePlay just got a warning from carrier network. What happened? 37Gb mobile data used in just a one or two days?
— Nikolajus Krauklis (@nikolajusk) September 18, 2018

While the first post on the main forum thread was made on September 1, other users stated that they made Google aware of the issue as early as June. The most recent report came on October 17. The bug has also been reported on Reddit, the Verizon community forum, and Twitter.

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A Google representative said the company is looking into the issue, although, this was on September 27 and there still doesn’t appear to be a fix. So far, the best solution for those affected appears to be turning off background data. However, given the service relies on background data to push through notifications about relevant news stories, this isn’t particularly ideal.

Next up: Google News app hands-on: The be-all-end-all news aggregator

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