XDA News Articles

Pulser_G2 · Jun 8, 2015

Privacy War – Shots Fired by Apple at WWDC

The battle between users and companies over privacy is getting pretty hot. Only a couple of weeks ago, at Google I/O, we were hearing how Android "M" would add optional permissions to Android (one of the most sought-after features on the platform for several years). Indeed, this is something which originated on the iOS platform, and which Google has had in the works for some time now. Nonetheless, Apple has been hitting headlines recently, with Tim Cook launching a rather...

Mathew Brack · Jun 1, 2015

Google Launches New Privacy and Security Hub

Google has announced the launch of two large improvements to their privacy and security tools. These include a new hub that allows you to manage all your Google settings called 'My Account' and new site to answer any of your Google related privacy and security questions.   At Google I/O they announced that they will be giving people the chance to take more control over the information they provide and now these two new sites aim to achieve just this. The...

Jimmy McGee · May 26, 2015

XPrivacy for Android Lollipop – XDA Xposed Tuesday

Have you ever been on the Google Play Store and saw an app that you wanted to try, but the sheer amount of permissions put you off? Why does a LED Color app need access to my calendar? Sometimes app developers tell you that it’s because of the ads. However, other times, apps don’t explain why they are spying on your text messages. In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that enables...

GermainZ · Mar 9, 2015

WiFi Data Leaks and Prevention

Got a device capable of connecting to WiFi networks? The answer is most probably "yes". In that case, you should know that it's most probably leaking potentially private information. Keep reading if you're interested in knowing what is being leaked and how to prevent it. When your device is fully asleep, your WiFi chip leaks two pieces of information periodically: The names of the networks you've previously connected to. Your device's MAC address. Note that we're talking about deep sleep....

Mario Tomás Serrafero · Mar 3, 2015

Cross-Platform Encrypted Messaging with Signal 2.0

Privacy and security are two increasingly important factors in today's globalized world, and with the surge of internet spying by government agencies and third parties, wiretaps are an everyday thing that don't just concern James Bond anymore. Encryption made its way to the semi-mainstream messaging world with the Telegram platform, but while millions flocked to it, it is still clear that convenience beats privacy for most of smartphone users. After all, with the huge user bases boasted by Whatsapp and the...

Mathew Brack · Feb 20, 2015

Casualty Report: The War for Privacy

Like any war,  the war for privacy has seen battles won and lost on both sides. Everyday the news mentions a new violation and likewise developers find better methods of keeping their privacy. With no end in sight many of us are wondering just whether we, the public, are winning. Following the attacks in Paris last month, the Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron proposed plans to ban encryption. To defend these absurd new laws, he stated, "We must not allow...

Pulser_G2 · Jan 12, 2015

Fingerprint Authentication – Just a Plain Bad Idea

A growing number of smartphones are adding fingerprint reading hardware, to attempt to add a differentiating factor in an increasingly crowded marketplace, and to attempt to offer users more convenient security features. The Motorola Atrix 4G stole the show at CES 2011, as the first modern smartphone to feature a fingerprint reader (there were previous generation Windows Mobile devices with fingerprint readers but these were never general consumer products). Since then, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha 4G, iPhone 5s, HTC One...

Tomek Kondrat · Dec 11, 2014

Protect Your Privacy with Krypton Web Browser

In recent years, we've heard quite a bit of various government agencies breaching their users' privacy. In addition to national surveillance, Google and other large corporations collect data from users to generate revenue by personalizing and better targeting ads. To the privacy conscious, this is undoubtedly a concerning trend. As such, many developers have decided to take privacy matters into their own hands. There are some browsers available on the Google Play Store that allow for private browsing. One of the...

Conan Troutman · Sep 13, 2014

Help Protect and Secure Your Sensitive Data With Droid Protector

Privacy and security are always a concern when it comes to mobile devices, and many of us probably have something or other stored or installed that we'd like to protect and keep from prying eyes or curious children. This can take the form of a certain app or set of applications that you don't want just anyone to be able to access, or even--dare I say it--some revealing photos that you no longer trust to the cloud. If that sounds at all...

Pulser_G2 · Jun 11, 2014

Protecting Your Privacy: App Ops, Privacy Guard, and XPrivacy

After yesterday's article about Google's recent changes to the Play Store that post a number of privacy concerns for users, today we are going to look at the three most popular options for users to protect their own privacy on their Android devices. First though, let's take a look at how they work, and what they are for. Why Should I Care? Since the start, Android has had a permissions system, to allow users to control what apps are able to do on...

Samantha · Jul 13, 2013

Telstra Giving FBI Access to Australian Calls, Emails, and Online Messages

Looks like even we Australians haven't been able to stay clear from the unprecedented, mass surveillance that Americans have been subjected to, as The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) has revealed today. It may or may not come as a shock that Australia's largest telecommunications company Telstra has had a secret pact with the US intelligence agencies for at least a decade, obliging Telstra to store mass volumes of communication data of Australians for potential investigations by the US in the future....

Samantha · Jun 28, 2013

Which App is Tracking You?

Privacy has always been a concern, and has somewhat heightened by recent revelations. And although I doubt any government would resort to using apps to 'maintain national security,' there are still dodgy 'developers' out there you need to look out for. So to help out with that, XDA Senior Member jacksparao introduced Who is Tracking. Who is Tracking generates a list of apps that have some form of network access on your device. This means Who is Tracking will display any apps...

Conan Troutman · Jun 20, 2013

Manage Individual App Permissions with XPrivacy

There's no denying that privacy is a huge concern for a large number of mobile users across all operating systems. Short of smashing your wireless router and trading down to a 3310 that's kept in a lead-lined box until you need to make a call, it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of where, when, and to whom your personal information is divulged. Android applications require various permissions, which you are no doubt familiar with by now. Most require these...

Pulser_G2 · Jun 8, 2013

Android Permissions: Permissively Insecure?

Android, as an operating system, is fairly unique in that it makes users aware of the permissions available to apps in a fairly transparent way. Compared to Blackberry or iOS, which issue granular prompts such as "Can Angry Birds access your location?" or "Can Instagram access your camera to take photos?" There is a somewhat subtle difference here: The rivals give the user a choice about these requests. Jump over to Android where, after installing an app, it has free...