Despite using a VPN, an application natively running on an Android device can get lots of information about its host (like hardware IDs or SIM card information) which defeats the whole point of using a VPN with the purpose of anonymizing your activity.

Of course, there are ethical and privacy-friendly by-design applications, but most of them are designed to mine user data.

Is there a way to strictly limit the amount of data an application is able to get from a device or give it random data each time it requests it? Android's native "permission" system doesn't show itself to be really good at regulating the amount of info applications can get about the user. For example, the TikTok application seems to be able to get your location if you are using a mobile network even without "phone" and "contacts" permissions given: My location get recognized by my SIM card

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    The question is confusing to me: the title asks for fingerprint, the body then moves to location. The scenario seems to be an application on an android device (i.e. not the browser) but it is unclear what you want to protect exactly from. Note that if both the application on the device and server end is controlled by the same entity no device fingerprinting is even needed, since there is the login of the user and the possibility to store cookies or similar on the device and exchange with the server. Also, the "anonymity" offered by a VPN is mainly limited to what your specific ISP can see. Commented May 20, 2023 at 4:46
  • This will be entirely device-dependent. Ultimately, you would need an emulated environment in order to control what any app sees.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 8:40
  • But why do I need it in the first place? Can't the OS itself just give away random data? Commented May 20, 2023 at 13:57
  • Hardware IDs are not so easily obtainable in modern version of Android: developer.android.com/training/articles/… unless you have system-keys/special permissions. In earlier versions of Android access to those IDs could be used to track user behavior via Ad SDKs used by Android apps to create ad targeting profiles. Any app can track your usage within their own app, Google with system-keys can track with more freedom. May be useful to read: What do web trackers know about/think of me? Commented May 21, 2023 at 7:49
  • there are some privacy apps which "inform" and to some limited extent "block" certain info but only on rooted phones. if privacy is taking away your sleep and you are concerned about only some specific app, you might install them on your phone using an in-phone emulator like vmos. (also it gives you root for all apps installed within )
    – mohsyn
    Commented May 23, 2023 at 18:26


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