[Security] Stop Android Apps from Spying on You
The kill switch you have been looking for
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In this article you will learn how to completely prevent Android apps from spying on you. Privacy has been a growing concern in the world of technology. With ever-expanding advancements in digital tracking and advertising, it's becoming more and more important for individuals to have personal control over their data. On one hand, this is fantastic because there are so many benefits to having personal control over these things such as reducing ad fatigue and improving your mental health.
Unfortunately, the accessibility of these tools have made them ideal for those looking to invade people's privacy without explicitly consenting to the practice. This can be accomplished through location tracking or through a combination of app permissions which determine what you're allowed to share with them (allow user access to some but not others).
Why do Android apps even need access to your sensors
In order to work properly, Android apps require permissions to your phone's camera, microphone, gyroscope and more. Apps like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook for example, require access to your phone's camera and the microphone to post videos and photos. Google Maps requires access to your GPS, in order to provide you with access to your precise location. Access to your phone's hardware is at the core of most modern apps.
The largest privacy concern of the recent years has become the fact that social media apps, games and other commonly used apps can utilize the input from your phone's sensors (camera, microphone etc.) to gather information about your usage.
For example, a social media app could use your camera to understand precisely where you are looking on the screen. So, when you browse through your feed, the app can understand what posts you spend the most time looking at. This can also be used to understand if you looked at an advertisement that came up in your feed, so that this AD can be presented to your again at a later time.
Now, let’s disable that. The following method is like a kill switch. It completely disables all sensor access to all apps. You can use this in diagnostic purposes as well.
How to stop Android apps from spying on you
Please note that everything we perform in this training module can be easily reversed with one tap of a button that we will activate at the end of this training.
1. On your Android phone, swipe up on the home screen and tap on Settings
2. Scroll down and tap on About phone