Questions tagged [privacy]

For questions related to enforcing you privacy on Android devices

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88
votes
5answers
64k 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 ...
59
votes
14answers
28k 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 ...
45
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
42
votes
2answers
42k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
2k 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?
26
votes
1answer
17k views

Why does the new Chrome update want the permission to use my camera and audio recording?

Seriously, it specifically states that it can use the camera and audio recording any time it wants, whether or not I wish it to. Why is Chrome on Android requesting those permissions? Should I be ...
25
votes
4answers
223k 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 ...
24
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 ...
23
votes
6answers
1k 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!
23
votes
3answers
94k 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 mode":...
22
votes
5answers
30k views

New Facebook app activates GPS when launched — how to disable?

This started happening with the latest Facebook app update. I don't want to disable my GPS outright -- I like that it comes up automatically when I call Google Maps. (Which usually is in a "where the ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

When selling your phone, what steps should be taken to make sure that all personal data has been removed?

I am getting rid of my Samsung Galaxy S4 and want to know what steps I should take to make sure that private information has been deleted from the phone. I have removed the SD card and cleared all of ...
18
votes
4answers
19k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
441 views

Temporarily protect email/sms when giving device to others?

Say my cousin wants to play with my phone/tablet for a while. Let's pretend I'm really nice and pleased to let him play with it as long as he wants, but deep inside I'm a little worry about him ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

What permissions are granted to an app with device administration privileges?

Does a Device Administrator application have any/all permissions such as contacts, storage, etc.. ? It's not clear from developer.android.com device-admin whether or not these admin rights also imply ...
13
votes
2answers
14k 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 As ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
755 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
32k views

On Android, how to 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How practical it is to use an Android phone, bypassing Google completely?

One of the first things that I noticed on my Nexus One as I turned it on the first time, was GMail, Talk, Voice, Maps, Google Calendar and many other Google based services. I know that even on a ...
11
votes
2answers
15k views

Can I block specific apps from using GPS?

I like to leave GPS enabled so that it's ready to go when I open Maps or certain other location based apps. However, one app that I don't want to access GPS is Facebook. There is, as far as I can ...
11
votes
4answers
97k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
820 views

What are the privacy implications of using Talk-to-Text?

Given that the Android implementation of Talk-To-Text sends your voice to Google's servers, parses your speech into text, then sends the text string back to the handset, what are the privacy ...
10
votes
4answers
863 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Google maps wants a login now? Is there a way around this?

I've managed to get away with running my Galaxy S without every hooking it up to a Gmail account, but sometime in the last couple of weeks (I think following an OS update from Sprint) Maps started ...
9
votes
7answers
15k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

How does an app reads an OTP SMS without SMS permission?

I have recently installed an Android app from the Play Store. While registering in it, I realized that it was able to read my message of OTP without even asking for my permission to read the message. ...
9
votes
1answer
42k views

What is Google Partner Setup?

What does the Google Partner Setup app that is pre-installed on almost every Android device actually do? Why does it need each of those intrusive permissions, especially the Phone permission? Why ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Google play store does not show all persmissions at app install

So recently, I was searching for a news app that needs few permissions as possible. I found an app called Flipboard. Google play said I need to allow the following: Identity Photos/Media/Files ...
9
votes
1answer
847 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
268 views

Privacy in Google Assistant

The other day my phone upgraded from Google Now to Google Assistant. I was having a conversation with a coworker and noticed my phone vibrate. Google Assistant had recorded the conversation and tried ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How is a Nexus device “provisioned” when you buy it from Google?

I noticed during checkout for the Nexus 4 that you are given the option to have it provisioned: When purchasing a Nexus device from Google Play, you'll notice a 'Link this device to my Google ...
8
votes
5answers
15k views

how can I randomize my MAC address every time my WiFi is turned on?

Given the increased prevalence of systems which track people's movements by their Mac addresses I'd like to obscure mine. I have a rooted galaxy note 2 with busybox installed. I can change my MAC ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

Captive Portal parameters

There are several captive portal parameters one could apply to an Android device via settings put global – the most famous probably being settings put global captive_portal_detection_enabled 0 to ...
8
votes
3answers
25k views

How can I automatically clear my browsing data when I exit Chrome?

I don't like having my searches and web history hanging around forever. Therefore, I wonder: Is it possible to automatically clear browsing data on exit in Google Chrome? If it cannot be done with ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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?
8
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
13k views

How can I use the name “A Google user” in my reviews at Google Play Store?

I have seen many recent reviews (2017) in Google Play Store with the name "A Google user" and I'd like to know how one can do that. I've read some possibilities, but they were written in 2012 and now ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

Is there a service that rates app security/permissions?

Is there a service/company/app that vets Android apps and reports on their "trustworthiness"? I recently moved from Blackberry to a Galaxy S2 which does not have an LED indicator light. I searched ...
7
votes
2answers
64k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

is it possible to disable Google remote kill switch?

our company is considering using the Android platform for future developments. Some folks raised concerns over Google ability to remotely delete applications on the device. they are arguing that if ...
7
votes
1answer
10k views

What really happens during a factory reset? Does it securely erase all data?

When you "factory reset" an android phone, are you formatting the phone storage by securely erasing all data and writing over them with zeroes, or are you simply deleting the files by hiding them from ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

QR scanner that doesn't want to access my contact list

(I am new to Android and to this site, so please bear with me if my question is extremely stupid and if I got the tags all wrong. Feel free to improve, though.) I want an app to scan the occasional ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How does the application Xprivacy give fake private data to applications?

I was wondering how the Xprivacy app worked exactly. Does it do something with native Android code? With Java? Does it put itself between the data and any application that requests them, or only if ...
7
votes
1answer
34k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Recent Apps shows app contents even though when its locked

I am trying to figure out how to hide an app from being seen when you hit the recent apps button. I use ZDBox's app lock to hide my apps and files when needed but noticed that when I hit the recent ...