Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Dec 2013 15:40 UTC
Google

Yesterday, we published a blog post lauding an extremely important app privacy feature that was added in Android 4.3. That feature allows users to install apps while preventing the app from collecting sensitive data like the user's location or address book.

After we published the post, several people contacted us to say that the feature had actually been removed in Android 4.4.2, which was released earlier this week. Today, we installed that update to our test device, and can confirm that the App Ops privacy feature that we were excited about yesterday is in fact now gone.

If there's one thing that needs some serious love in Android, it's the application permissions. I carefully look at them every time I install an application, but I'm guessing most people don't. While there's only so much stupidity technology can solve, Android's application permissions are, indeed, quite overwhelming at times. I'm not a particular fan of modal dialogs every time an application needs permission for something (the iOS way) either, so I'm not sure how this can be addressed in a user-friendly way.

App Ops seemed like a decent compromise that allowed for lots of finetuning of permissions, per application. Luckily, I'm using a custom ROM that re-enables it, Google be damned. Google claims App Ops may break some applications - well, that's not really any of my concern. If an application breaks because I do not give it permission to find out if I'm on the toilet or not - there's always an uninstall button.

So, Google better have some serious improvement in mind for application permissions, or they're just making sure regular users don't get into the habit of blocking Google's data collection. I hope the former, but I'm reasonably sure it's the latter.

Thread beginning with comment 578726
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Xprivacy
by capi_x on Sun 15th Dec 2013 20:10 UTC
capi_x
Member since:
2012-08-29

Cyanogenmod and Xprivacy is the solution:
https://github.com/M66B/XPrivacy

P.S: Use it and say: shut up f*cking G$$gle!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Xprivacy
by Alfman on Mon 16th Dec 2013 04:50 in reply to "Xprivacy"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"Cyanogenmod and Xprivacy is the solution:"

Interesting, looks like it was available under the google app store at one point before google banned it. Still, at least android users don't have to use google's app store, we can still side-load software google doesn't approve from other sources.

Reply Parent Score: 3