Android Police

Articles Tagged:

privacy

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[Update: One step further] You can revoke permissions for older apps in Android Q before installing them

Android used to be the Wild West when it came to permissions: Apps would tell you what parts of your phone they needed access to before you installed them, and you could either accept that or not use the app at all — it was an all-or-nothing deal. Over the years, Google got its act together and realized that wasn't the best approach (overshooting the mark at times). Android Q steps up that game for apps that still rely on this old API, asking users to choose which permissions to grant before starting these apps for the first time.

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[Update: Fix available] Skype bug automatically answers calls on Android, Microsoft already working on a fix

Once, Skype was the go-to video chat app, but those days are long over. With the rise of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Duo, and others, many users don't see a reason to have yet another app on their phone when it has the same functionality. However, some people still depend on Skype, be it for business or habitual reasons. This number might shrink further on Android: We're receiving reports that the Microsoft app automatically answers calls for some users, potentially letting callers catch them in unfortunate circumstances.

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Android Q randomizes MAC addresses by default, with per-network customization

In Android P, Google rolled out a developer option to enable MAC address randomization, but it was turned off by default. With the first beta of Android Q, the option became the default, but we hadn't taken the time to look at it before, so let's do so now.

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[Update: Roll out begins] WhatsApp won't throw you into unwanted group chats anymore

Consent. We've heard everyone talk a lot more about it these days, but it doesn't just apply to people, it should also be required in the tech world. Specifically, from our apps and the services we use. If I like a certain service but don't want to give it all the freedom to do everything it wants, I should be able to limit it. Take for example WhatsApp's groups. For years, anyone could add you to a group, without asking you or even knowing you, and WhatsApp let them do it. You just get a notification that you've been added to a group; you can leave it, sure, but you were already added.

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Telegram 5.5 adds unlimited message unsend for private chats, anonymous forwarding, and more

Telegram has seen some major growth since the most recent privacy kerfuffles over on Facebook, mostly because of the service's staunch support for user privacy. In line with this, v5.5 (and v1.6.2 for desktop) adds some new features aimed at giving people more control over how they use Telegram. This amounts to an unlimited unsend feature for private chats and anonymous forwarding, as well as some other quality of life things.

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Google Assistant can read your screen and offer contextual info, just make sure you want it to

Google Assistant does a lot of things. This invisible artificial intelligence residing (partly) inside our devices can answer all kinds of questions, control our homes, help us plan our day, play our favorite music, and, with the addition of features like What's on my screen and Google Lens, glean more from what we're looking at and provide contextual answers. What you may not be aware of, and something I recently discovered (though it isn't very new), is that Assistant can read your screen even when you don't explicitly ask it what's on your screen. That has the potential to be very handy, but also extremely creepy if you didn't know it was possible.

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Android Q beefs up privacy with new limits on location access, device IDs, and more

Google has tightened Android security over the years, but there are still some loopholes that need closed. In Android Q, Google has addressed several nagging issues. The changes are geared toward giving users more control and transparency, and that will mean developers might have to rethink how they do things.

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Facebook unironically announces new 'privacy-focused platform'

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg revealed his new "privacy-focused vision for social networking" in a brief manifesto which indirectly acknowledges the company's previous failures. The vision is based on a privacy-centric platform the company claims will be built openly and in consultation with experts across various fields. Presumably this is all after it's finished doing everything it can to fight privacy laws.

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Guardian report on leaked documents shows the pains Facebook will take to fight privacy laws

According to a recent report by The Guardian based on internal documents leaked from a court case in California, Facebook has been lobbying and pressuring representatives and politicians from over 35 countries in its attempts to fight privacy laws. That much would seem pretty obvious, but the details revealed by these documents imply a greater degree of collaboration than you may expect, and potential quid pro quo actions by politicians.

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Facebook introduces new location privacy controls for Android

Facebook has definitely earned its sour reputation, but the company has been scrambling in the last few months to try to regain some of its users' trust. Today, it announced some new location control settings for Android (and iOS), an update which aims to give people more control over just how much information they share with the social network.

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