Fix It Already

Android allows you to deny apps some permissions, like location access, on a per-app basis. But network access is not one of those permissions. Letting users deny apps network access would be a leap forward for Android privacy.

Why is this important?

Ever since Google released Android 6.0 Marshmallow back in 2015, Android users have been able to revoke or deny specific permissions to apps. Don’t want that flashlight application to access your location? Just change a setting. Don’t want the latest game to access your contacts? Flip the switch. Don’t want your chat app to listen in on what you’re saying via the microphone? No problem.

But one permission users can’t deny is Internet access—no matter how much you don’t want that flashlight app to phone home and tell its creator about every tap, swipe, or launch. While Apple doesn’t provide this option in iOS either, we have bigger concerns that Google’s targeted advertising-based business model gives it less incentive to stop creepy tracking. Limiting Android apps’ ability to track users would be a big step in the right direction. (And of course, if Google gave users this option, then Apple would have no excuse not to.)

Instead of having no choice but to share their data with the creators of every app they ever use, Android users should be able to deny and revoke apps’ permission to access the Internet. Your move, Google.

Read more at eff.org

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