For questions related to enforcing you privacy on Android devices

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26
votes
2answers
21k views

What information does stock Android send to Google by default, and how do I opt-out?

I'm about to buy my first Android phone. My understanding is that, in order to download apps and get updates from Google Play, I need to be permanently signed into a Google account that's linked to my ...
68
votes
5answers
41k views

Why do so many applications require permission to read the phone state and identity?

Why do so many applications require permission to read the phone state and identity?. Specifically: Phone calls read phone state and identity For example Quickpedia is a Wikipedia portal, but ...
41
votes
6answers
10k views

Support for Multiple Users on same device

Is there such a thing as a "current user" on Android and a way to switch it? I'm interested in getting a Motorola Xoom and would like to share it with my wife when at home. For my Windows laptop we ...
38
votes
13answers
9k views

Are there any tools to sandbox a malware application even more than the granted permissions on Android?

Suppose I want to run some program which requests too many permissions. For example, record from the microphone or read IMEI of my phone. However, there are no practical explanation why recording from ...
18
votes
4answers
982 views

I have sold my phone on eBay. What should I do before I send it off?

I have an Android phone which I just sold on eBay. What measures should I take before posting it off to its new home? Please answer thoroughly!
21
votes
2answers
4k views

What Android sync'd data is encrypted?

With the release of the firesheep plug-in for firefox it has become trivial for website browsing on open Wi-Fi networks to be hijacked by 3rd party listeners. Android offers the convenient auto-sync ...
10
votes
2answers
554 views

Is there a list that explains the risks involved with each granted application permission type?

Usually an installed android app will request permissions such as Phone calls read phone state and identity or System tools prevent phone from sleeping But the actual consequences from a ...
3
votes
2answers
571 views

Is there an application / ROM that allows me to set the phone to “Guest” mode which I can configure?

I would like to be able to set my phone into Guest mode so people using it will not be able to "abuse" it while I give it to them. Example of usage: Child mode - prevent editing settings, making ...
12
votes
2answers
554 views

How do I prep my rooted and moded phone for resale?

I have a rooted MyTouch 3G (HTC Magic) that I want to sell to help defray the cost of my new phone. I have been running CyanogenMod on the phone. My problem lies in the fact that I don't really want ...
2
votes
3answers
775 views

Application for remote-wiping a lost phone without handing access to my data to a third-party?

Or having to pay a subscription? I have an idea for a hypothetical Android app. Tell me if such a thing already exists. You install a server in a machine you have total control of, and is ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I set up OpenVPN on CyanogenMod 7?

I want to route all my network traffic through my home's ISP connection when I'm out in Internet cafes so I can't be eavesdropped/firesheeped. I have an HTC G2 with CyanogenMod 7, which has OpenVPN ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Audit app permissions easily in one place?

Is there anyway to list all the applications installed on your phone and the permissions they require all on one page, or export the list so it can easily be audited?
7
votes
2answers
7k views

How to sync contacts and calendar with Linux system, without using Gmail?

How can I sync my contacts and calendar with a Linux system? I'd prefer to sync with my desktop, but setting up a server on the internet would also be possible. I want to avoid Google mail for ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Can the RECEIVE_SMS permission be used to intercept SMS messages?

I've noticed quite a few apps requesting the RECEIVE_SMS permission. Two things are clear to me here: RECEIVE_SMS enables an app to "snap" incoming SMS READ_SMS just applies to SMS already stored ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Where to modify the pseudonym used to rate Android apps?

I am currently rating android applications that I downloaded with the username firstname.lastname where firstname and lastname are mine. However, I would like to put a pseudonym on it because my real ...
9
votes
4answers
766 views

What's the most complete way to erase all the data from my phone so it cannot be recovered?

I just got my replacement Droid and will be sending my current Droid back to Motorola. I'm sure they are going to refurbish it and resell it. I've backed up everything and I'm going to be keeping my ...
7
votes
2answers
860 views

Is there a contact book that allows partial access for apps?

In my phone book I have both personal contacts and work related contacts, like clients, contractors etc. Applications such was 'whatsapp' are great and easy, but I do not necessarily want to add all ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there an Android calendar with limited security permissions?

I've just bought an entry-level Samsung Europa, running version 2.2. I'm technically-minded but new to this OS. I'd like to find a calendar that runs in limited security permissions, so that my ...
18
votes
3answers
44k views

What does the voice privacy setting do?

In perusing the settings on my EVO today, I noticed that there is an option under call settings named "Voice Privacy". The description beneath the checkbox merely states "Enable enhanced privacy ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

On the latest version of Android, how can I disable Google Chrome's incognito mode?

Google Chrome for Android includes a feature called incognito mode. This feature, when I activate it, is designed to help prevent Chrome from automatically remembering and storing information about ...
4
votes
4answers
21k views

How to block all phone calls, but only allow SMS and networking?

It's kinda disturbing when people keep calling me during work or meetings, but to me it's okay if I receive short messages or Whatsapp message because I can reply them few minutes later in a short ...
1
vote
1answer
22k views

How to remove an account from Google Hangouts?

I logged in to Google Hangouts using an account (which is NOT the account I use in play store). But now I cannot remove it. I can sign out, but to sign back in, it does not for the password and ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Read phone state and identity

I've looked at many (not all) of the dozens of links here. Is there a list that explains the risks involved with each granted application permission type? Most of these are not worth the time to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to prevent Google aggressively associating my account to my searches?

I understand they can access my searches when I'm logged in, and of course know the search terms I use, but how can I prevent them to logging searches to my account when: I'm not logged in and in ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

How do you encrypt your device running CyanogenMod 12.1?

CyanogenMod 12 and 12.1 'Encrypt phone' setting is broken, and has been for quite a while. Is there any way to encrypt the phone in some other fashion? Can CM be sideloaded onto a phone with an ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How to use GPS without using Google Location Services

Because I do not want to consent to the Google Location Services privacy agreement I have this switched off. By doing so I know some location functionality like cell-based and wifi-based location will ...
4
votes
1answer
323 views

What lurks behind these Gmail/GTalk permissions?

I just stumbled upon some permissions which sound clear at first sight (noticed them already quite a while ago, just decided to dig deeper right now). Thinking about possible implications, I'd really ...
3
votes
0answers
521 views

Privacy level with an anonymous account? [duplicate]

I am interested in the currently achievable levels of privacy on an Android device. As far as I understand it, the best one can do is not to activate a Google account. However, even then significant ...
2
votes
0answers
1k views

Using the GPS instead of Google Location Services in Chrome

I do not consent to Google collecting constant background information about my position at all times through their Google Location Service program. So I have got that option disabled. I can get just ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is there a way to use Google location service without tracking my positions constantly in background?

I want to use Google location service based on wifi or cell tower data without gathering and sending my (later anonymized) positions to Google in background when I do not explicitly make the requests. ...
0
votes
1answer
618 views

Looking for a network monitor that can enumerate outbound connections

I have a rooted Galaxy S2, and I want to block access for all apps whose primary function does not require network connectivity. I am using DroidWall and LBE Privacy Guard (both require root) to ...
7
votes
2answers
983 views

Security / Privacy concerns regarding custom android ROM

What are the security and privacy concerns surrounding using a custom android ROM like that of cyanogen?
6
votes
2answers
16k views

Why do I need a Gmail account to use Android?

I am a new user of Android phone. I used to own an iPhone. I don't remember needing an Apple account besides using it to download applications from app store. Now I need a Gmail account to do even ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Can apps know where you are even without GPS?

I've noticed that Google Maps, for instance, can guess where you are using phone towers or something even when GPS is turned off. Does this apply to 3rd party apps? Can any app figure out where you ...
3
votes
2answers
573 views

How to retrieve saved password in Google Chrome for Android?

Is there any way I can retrieve stored password specific to any URL in Google Chrome for Android. This is not in any way connected with Google Chrome running in Desktop versions. I'm able to see saved ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

When you lock down a Lollipop device to disable Chrome's incognito mode, this creates an XML “restrictions file”. What actual XML is inside the file?

Note: If this post is too long to read, please see the summary in the last paragraph. I own an aging Samsung Galaxy S Relay cellphone. It's running Android 4.1.2 and has a built-in physical keyboard. ...
2
votes
1answer
270 views

Google Account activation: What should I consider concerning privacy?

In order to be able to use google-play-store, I will need a Google Account, and activate this on my Android device. Does this give Google access to all my private data? Is there anything I can to to ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Remove Sensitive Data From Work Phone

I've moved on from a previous job, and as part of the process I need to return my work provided phone. I have factory reset the phone, as well as electing to erase the SD card. There was some ...