Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1

    Permissions on Android


    If I install a software from the Play Store, which says it needs "SMS permission", "GPS permission", blah blah.. can I then STOP it accessing these things at a later date...? Also, is it possible that I can click off these things selectively, ie. I want it to have ONLY SMS perms, and not GPS, or have Google scrood us even there...? (that WAS my impression....)


    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Western US
    Posts
    599
    Quote Originally Posted by resetreset View Post
    If I install a software from the Play Store, which says it needs "SMS permission", "GPS permission", blah blah.. can I then STOP it accessing these things at a later date...?
    Generally speaking, no. There pretty much is no such thing as granular permission control in droid. Heck, most apps don't even ask in the prompts. They just embed it in the EULA, which nobody ever reads. Usually once you approve the install they take whatever permissions they want. Once in a blue moon you'll find a well written app that will let you go back and change that kind of stuff. You could always just kill the GPS function on the phone. But that will break 80%+ of your apps b/c almost all of them pull your location; even when it has nothing to do with the service they provide. 1/2 the point of droid is to be able to track you.

    Quote Originally Posted by resetreset View Post
    Also, is it possible that I can click off these things selectively, ie. I want it to have ONLY SMS perms, and not GPS, or have Google scrood us even there...? (that WAS my impression....)
    See above. Short answer: No.

    Quote Originally Posted by resetreset View Post
    Thanks.
    Your welcome.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_G View Post
    once you approve the install they take whatever permissions they want.
    So there's no way to get Android itself to block access to any part of the phone that I want, then....?

    It's not GPS alone, it's my phone contacts' access that I find much more horrifying.....

  4. $spacer_open
    $spacer_close
  5. #4
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Western US
    Posts
    599
    Quote Originally Posted by resetreset View Post
    So there's no way to get Android itself to block access to any part of the phone that I want, then....?

    It's not GPS alone, it's my phone contacts' access that I find much more horrifying.....
    Sure, root it and load a more configurable mod on it. But then you break a ton of other stuff including 99.99% of any apps that you want to load on it and what little system sec the wide open hunk of junk had to begin with.

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3,116
    On my tablet I can go to settings, security, app permissions and then set things like get position/use camera etc and set to always allow/always ask/always deny ... and App permission management is running.
    I install Orbot and so long as I remember to disable wifi before I switch the tablet off, when I switch it on I start Orbot before enabling the wifi and applications don't seem to have a clue where I'm located unless I let them use locate services.

    Maybe your experience varies ... but it seems to work for me I'm not sure if that's because I set developer mode on - I cant work out how to switch developer mode off without doing a factory reset so I'm not going to test that ...

  7. #6
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Western US
    Posts
    599
    There is absolutely zero consistency throughout the entire droid universe. Every manufacturer gets a hold of it and puts their "imprint" on it. (Read: Totally screws it up.)

    I won't own a phone. The wife has one. We have a couple of tablets and of course as the "tech guy" in the family I'm supposed to know everything about anything with a display screen on it. So everybody comes to me. From the stuff I've played with the tablets don't seem to have the tracking crap locked down as hard as the phones do.

    IE, the wife and I like to kill time playing scrabble. On the tablet if we turn off the wifi it works fine. On her phone if we turn off the GPS it stops working.

    Just why the F does GPS need to be enabled for SCRABBLE to work.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_G View Post
    IE, the wife and I like to kill time playing scrabble. On the tablet if we turn off the wifi it works fine. On her phone if we turn off the GPS it stops working.

    Just why the F does GPS need to be enabled for SCRABBLE to work.
    You need to pick a different Scrabble game. It's not Android that requires it. The developer controls which permissions are required. Look at just about every flashlight app and you'll be amazed at the permissions they want. A lot of apps require network permissions so they can run ads. It's also a great way for them to send your info back to the mother ship. I always warn people to pay attention to what's required before they install an app. Most people don't care, though.

  9. #8
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,747
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven_G View Post
    Short answer: No.
    there is, however, a long answer.

    as already pointed out, more recent android versions have a system to manage app permissions. it's tedious to work, and you apply these perms after installation. but it answers your question.

    there are other ways, most require rooting your phone.

    a firewall would certainly be a good thing to install.

    there's an app called Xprivacy which allows even better privacy control, up to generating fake data to feed to the apps. it requires the Xposed framework to be installed first.

  10. #9
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Western US
    Posts
    599
    Quote Originally Posted by runlevl4 View Post
    You need to pick a different Scrabble game. It's not Android that requires it. The developer controls which permissions are required. Look at just about every flashlight app and you'll be amazed at the permissions they want. A lot of apps require network permissions so they can run ads. It's also a great way for them to send your info back to the mother ship. I always warn people to pay attention to what's required before they install an app. Most people don't care, though.

    Well, with all of the crapware in droid it's hard for an end user to know what they're installing and what permissions it needs. It's not like the bad actors are going to tell you the truth. 1/2 the time they don't explain what the permissions are, if they even pop up any boxes after the initial install approval. A lot of times after the first click they just take what they want. And if the OS does bother to pop a warning it's going to be something obscure that 99.9999% of end user won't understand. Most people don't know about this junk. They blindly trust google or whoever runs their store. If it's in the store it must be OK, so if it asks for it then it must need it to work and it must be OK.

    Out of all of the dozens and dozens and dozens of people I know with phones there is exactly ONE I know that runs any sec / FW / app controls / AV of any kind at all: My wife. And that's only b/c I insist. And she still gets crap like scrabble that won't work w/o GPS!

    And from an end user POV and sec POV who the bad actor is does not really matter b/c the whole droid universe is so screwed up. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE from the google devs on down the line have a hand in the crappy state of droid. If they are not explicitly bad actors then they're lazy or just don't give a F about sec or privacy and create everything from sloppy APIs, to sloppy apps, to out right malicious software or just don't bother to push out available patches for a year or more.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: Droid is one of the biggest jokes ever perpetrated on the human race and I just don't get why people keep drinking the kool-aid.

  11. #10
    Linux User peteh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    432
    -->
    I just switch off GPS permanently, switch off all the google sync apps and switch on wifi only when I need it. I never have a problem and can still get the weather just by telling the app which city I want.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •