Android App security and privacy

asked 2014-11-02 16:37:11 +0300

Andy gravatar image

updated 2014-11-02 16:39:34 +0300


What are the access policy related to privacy and security for the Android applications? Is there a way to choose the level and if not, would there be one in the future?

Right now I was shocked by the Android App install permission screen... while installing Skype the only thing which was not in the list was "Sells your soul to the Devil".. While installing simple Android board games like Solitaire, phone calls and network access was in the access list requirement! All of that sounds like the Android apps are spyware in disguise and I would like to use some of them but deny certain resources to the system, e.g. offline games do not need a network access, skype does not need to access my SD card and do whatever there, access the system settings, accounts and passwords, paid phone calls, etc.. I would like to be in control on what is happening on my device. After all getting Jolla instead of an Android phone was the possible security and privacy which was not available with Android as well as Jolla being not Google which develops the Sailfish OS.

I would like Sailfish to be able to lie to Android Apps and give Dummy system resources... forward all network traffic from a chosen Android App to /dev/null.. and give access to a chrooted empty directory.

Regards, Andy

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I'm with you! Some time ago I used Cyanogen mod 11 in my old nexus and it had security options to block access to some resources for certain apps.

Luca ( 2014-11-02 16:44:58 +0300 )edit

Yes it is quiet scary what permissions some Android apps want. But it's similar on Windows Phone (like almost every app there needs GPS access?!) and on iOS the user probably doesn't know what happens in the background.

I love how Cyanogenmod (CM11 at least) handles it, where you can set/deny permissions to apps (there you realize that Facebook apps wants access to the phone app when you make a call without using or even having Facebook open!).

Also Sailfish OS should have a similar feature for native apps sometime in the future.

molan ( 2014-11-02 18:38:17 +0300 )edit

quite spooky that even that question only has two followers... actually i bought my jolla to have a certain controll about my data... but whitout that permissionsettingstuff I fear i sell my data anyway...

toba ( 2015-06-25 17:34:39 +0300 )edit

@toba: 3 now ;-) But you're right... I wished people would be more interested in their privacy, but just look how many use iOS or Google Android without even thinking about it. I often have discussions about that topic and most people simply don't understand (and thus don't care) what happens with their files. Once I explain or show them, they change their mind - but do they really do something against it? Similar naivety in companies and the systems they're use (of course there are some great exceptions).

SailfshOS lacks features which I would really appreciate to have. Well, we don't have them yet... But whenever I could talk to Jolla people I feel privacy & security is very important to them (as private people and the company). I'm sure we'll see improvements and there was stuff announced for Sailfish OS 2.0 at MWC 15. But like everything, it will take time to implement this.

This topic should have many more upvotes though!

molan ( 2015-06-26 10:37:43 +0300 )edit

I agree, this is scaring me. Disabling background services and denying access to contact informations are step that does not go far enough, as far as I am concerned. I would like to banish android apps in a kind of sandbox, where I can decide whether their hunger is satisfied by dummy or by access on real data.

Moo-Crumpus ( 2015-09-17 16:08:39 +0300 )edit