data controls

Sundar Pichai let something of a bomb drop in regard to data privacy in apps on Android today at I/O, potentially addressing a long-standing complaint that the OS doesn't allow users enough control over what apps can do with their information, or if they can access it at all. Now, there's a tool to manage your privacy in Android, and it's called Universal Data Controls.

data controls

No interface was demoed, no real details were provided, and we don't even know if this is actually just putting all the existing Google privacy settings in a dedicated area and giving them a fresh coat of paint. It's possible this will be a new feature for third party apps, too, but again, Google was very vague about the whole thing. We may hear more about the UDC as the conference goes on, though, so stay tuned.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • RarestName

    Still better than nothing :D

  • TomsDisqusted

    Please, please, let me control access to my contacts!

    • Cerberus_tm

      I'm really spamming now, but Xprivacy lets you determine exactly which contacts each application can access. Root is required.

      • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

        I don't mean to be a downer, but the significant majority of Android users have no idea what Xprivacy is. Most of them probably have no idea what rooting your phone really is, and most of the ones that have heard of it will never do it. For Google to pack a feature like this into the OS for all OEMs (and hopefully end users) to have access to is a pretty big deal.

        • Cerberus_tm

          Sure, it's good that Google is at last doing something. (Though less relevant to you and me, who can already use Xprivacy.)

  • Quietus

    CyanogenMod already does this pretty well when you set it to block permissions for all newly installed apps. If an app requires one of the permissions you will be able to allow or reject the request via a popup. A native solution would be very welcome though.

  • xero1

    Anyone catch that KNOX will be build into all Andriod devices?

    • Tomáš Petrík

      Yeah, there's a separate article here on that.

  • usaff22

    See google.com/design:

    Here is an example of the privacy controls in Android L:

    • Cerberus_tm

      Except if you root it and install Xprivacy, as always...

  • Daniel Collins

    App ops!

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    It won't be a full on App Ops. I'm guessing it will be more like how iOS does it. Apps will be listed under "Location" "Contacts" "Images" etc tabs and you can allow or deny access to apps.

  • jules

    At the moment I am experimenting with and learning using Xprivacy, an Xposed module. Has for instance the ability to send fake information about device-id, location, etc when one blocks permission for that. So apps keep fully working while being anonymous.

    Goes much deeper and more options than App Opps, but still fairly easy to use. Within Xprivacy I myself did 'questionmark' all apps. First time only starting an app permissions are being asked which can be granted or denied. Sort of like after fresh install of a firewall on Windows and OS X. When an app stops working easy to revoke set blockings and redo.

    But it is to early for me to give final judgement, but I think this is a stayer.

  • ha ha ha

    Privacy and Google? LOL.

  • John

    They have gone very quiet about this. Does anyone know if Lollipop has implemented this?


    So where is this feature?