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The Google play store has a line in their TOS that gives them the right to install arbitrary apps/updates without consent of the user.

Sadly, some apps appear to require play store to be enabled to work (eg. the official chatGPT app).

Is there any way to remove the play store as an acceptable app installation source, to completely prevent the risk of it installing something without explicit consent?

2 Answers 2

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Choosing [Don't auto-update apps] from [Auto-update apps] should do the trick. Play Store needs the permission to install packages in order to keep Google Play Service and some modular system components up to date - These house-keeping jobs look legitimate.

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  • This doesn't protect you in the hypothetical event of a supply chain vulnerability - whether because of google getting hacked, or eg. them aligning with oppressive surveillance governments.
    – sh4dow
    Aug 8, 2023 at 5:26
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Suggestions

  1. Root the device and you have full control.
  2. Play Store > Your Icon > Settings > General > Network Preferences > Auto Update Apps > Don't auto-update apps. This might still update system apps.
  3. Play Store > Your Icon > Settings > General > Network Preferences > Auto Update Apps > Over Wi-Fi Only and don't use Wifi. This should stop all updates.

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