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Deny specific permissions to Android apps

asked 2014-06-05 16:05:12 +0300

shallimus gravatar image

Although I will always use a Sailfish native app where a viable option exists, sometimes the functionality I need is best served by using an Android app. Being able to do this is great, but with the great convenience of Android comes great privacy concerns, so I have to ask:

Is there any possibility of denying individual Android apps individual permissions?

Let's say I have a barcode scanning app from some Androind store. Of course it will need camera access and that is fine and expected. However, now it also wants access to my Contacts data "for helping me share with my friends more easily" or some such marketing twaddle. To use the app I must grant all permissions, both the ones it legitimately needs and those it only wants for - at best - advertising or marketing purposes which do not help me at all.

In my example, it would be nice to be able to deny this app specifically the access to Contacts while still permitting the Camera access. I understand that it might break some apps, so perhaps in the background "deny" could be "serve blank list" or similar.

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and i want root to use applications patcher to remove advertisments and unlock bonuses in games :D

coderus ( 2014-06-06 10:06:35 +0300 )edit

Why only for Android apps? ATM I have no idea whatsoever what a native app is allowed to do our not...

Of course, many Sailfish apps are open source, so there's some community scrutiny of the code. But still, it would be nice to know what an app is doing in the background.

bilgy_no1 ( 2014-06-06 16:11:00 +0300 )edit

I suppose I'm asking about Android specifically for two reasons: one, I trust it less simply because Android is a bigger target and various problems there are well-known, and two it's within a container in the context of Sailfish and I thought (rightly or wrongly) that it might be simple[r] to control access.

But yes, I'd be interested in seeing something for Sailfish in the way you describe, for sure.

shallimus ( 2014-06-06 17:47:39 +0300 )edit

this is exactly the kind of security framework i wish for both sailfish and android applications.

edgar ( 2014-07-03 11:54:42 +0300 )edit

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answered 2014-06-06 10:32:43 +0300

molan gravatar image

No there is no such possibility at the moment. The only way I can think of doing that, is to root Alien Dalvik (Android support) and install the Xposed framework where you can set up a module called XPrivacy. This module allows you to control what connections and/or data an application is allowed to share.

But the licensed 3rd party Android application layer Jolla doesn't allow you root access to install something like that. Furthermore the application layer isn't the same as a full Android distribution. Maybe someone can give you a better, more detailed answer :-) 

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Thank you for this info - food for thought. I haven't used Android much at all (beyond just playing with one or two devices briefly) so I'm not well-informed about the permissioning model, especially the back-end, and I also admit that I know next-to-nothing about what conditions may be imposed on Jolla by Google or Myriad due to the inclusion of Alien Dalvik.

shallimus ( 2014-06-06 17:45:42 +0300 )edit

Huh, what are you talking about? You can root the Jolla phone. Just install Superuser from Warehouse. I can confirm that works.

Vistaus ( 2014-07-20 17:02:09 +0300 )edit

Should it not be possible at the VM layer?

r0kk3rz ( 2014-08-10 16:28:48 +0300 )edit

@Vistaus please share your method of installing xposed / xprivacy here

Thank you ( 2015-03-11 15:35:16 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-01-17 23:00:35 +0300

peterleinchen gravatar image

updated 2015-01-17 23:03:03 +0300

Did anything move in the right direction?

Something like xposed framework / xprivacy is a MUST. Or a Sailfish (aliendalvik) system setting providing same functionality?

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answered 2014-06-06 12:10:48 +0300

Plnt gravatar image

There is already request for this here:

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I did search for existing posts ("android permission" etc.) but this didn't come up. Even if it had, I'm not certain I would have necessarily recognised it as being the same thing since I'm not just talking about installing from Transfers, although I concede there is a lot of overlap.

shallimus ( 2014-06-06 17:43:02 +0300 )edit

may i repeat myself once again, and say that it's pathetic there's no bug tracker for this product? It makes me want to drop it.

paoletto ( 2019-01-01 12:43:19 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-06-05 16:05:12 +0300

Seen: 2,262 times

Last updated: Jan 17 '15