Unlimited data plans are rare and expensive beasts these days. Hardly anybody has them. The closest you normally find will offer huge amounts of data like 10GB, 20GB, and sometimes more but you just don’t see unlimited data plans anymore. The fact that none of us have unlimited data plans on our phones anymore means we’re all vulnerable to this latest Google bug that is doing the rounds. Even if you have generous data plan that gives you more gigabytes than you could ever dream of using you still need to watch out.
A bug in the Google News app has been consuming up to 24GB of users’ data without their knowledge
The problem first started occurring back in June. A number of Google News users began noticing that their data allowance was being drained. Once they looked into on their devices, they noticed that the Google News app was consuming a lot more data than it should be. The users took their findings to various forums including the Google News help forums, Twitter, and Reddit. They soon found that they were not alone. There were dozens of other users who were noticing the same problem.
— Kyle Poole (@kylpo) September 30, 2018
Users have reported that the app has burned through huge amounts of data very quickly. The most extreme cases have seen up to 24GB worth of data blasted away in no time at all. One particularly unlucky Google News user saw his monthly bill come in with a staggering $385 worth of over usage charges.
Google has recognized and verified the problem, as it has been on the official Google News forums. A Google News community manager had this to say back on September 27. “The relevant teams are currently investigating and working towards a fix, and we’ll be posting updates directly to this thread. We may also reach out if there is additional troubleshooting info that would be helpful in our investigation.” The problem now though is there is still no solution in sight and users are still reporting heavy data allowance losses through their Google News app.
This Google bug has been reported by users both in the U.S. and the U.K. If you have Google News, it is a good idea to take action to make sure you don’t fall victim to sudden data usage spikes and potential charges for overuse.
How to solve the problem
With no official fix in sight, there are only two potential fixes. The first is to disable background data for Google News. This will stop the bug from being able to hammer your data allowance whenever you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. Failing that, all you have left is the nuclear option. Delete Google News, at least until Google releases a patch that takes care of the bug. If enough users go down, the second route it might give Google an added incentive to get a patch out sooner rather than later.