Sunday, December 3, 2023

Android 10 Released – New Privacy Protection by Restricting access to External storage, Location Access & Background Activities

Android 10 released by Google with immense changes to protect user privacy and gives more control for user’s to restrict what data the apps can use.

The Android 10 also includes dark theme, live caption, Smart Reply, Gesture Navigation and security updates directly from Google play.

Important Privacy Changes

Apps have restricted access to external storage. The access limited to the app-specific directory, Photos, videos, and audio clips created from the app.

Android 10 introduces the ACCESS_BACKGROUND_LOCATION which restricts the app’s access location in the background. An app can track location only it is visible or it has foreground service running or foreground service declared.

Apps can start activities only based on user interaction, launching activities from the background are restricted.

Contacts affinity was removed and MAC address randomization was included, so by default system transmits the randomized MAC address.

Access to the device’s network state has been disabled, apps can access non-resettable identifiers such as IMEI and serial number is the app has READ_PRIVILEGED_PHONE_STATE privileged permission.

Other Notable Privacy Changes

Apps have limited access to clipboard data, an app can read the serial number only if the user has granted access.

Restrictions on camera details and metadata, enabling & disabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Android 10 disables silent access for apps to access the device’s screen contents.

With legacy apps, user’s are provided with a permissions screen for the first time after the application installed, which gives users a chance to revoke user permissions.

Restrictions for apps on physical activity recognition and Permission groups removed from UI.

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