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New Android Privacy Assistant App Keeps Your Data Private

Feb 11, 2017

If you are into privacy and you have the open-sourced platform Android, you might be curious and interested in a new app that was developed by researchers. This new app, which is called Privacy Assistant, will allow you to customize your Android phone and stop the data collection from various apps. We wanted to tell you all about this new Privacy Assistant app and how it can keep your Android phone safe from unwanted data collection or hacks.

Privacy Assistant Android App Hits Google Play

Keeping your Android device safe and secure is a huge concern for a lot of people. It has especially been an important issue after Edward Snowden, the ex-NSA leaker, revealed that the American government is spying on and collecting information about regular citizens for no reason. Beyond these privacy concerns, there are also issues with Android since it is an open-source platform. Android seems to be more vulnerable to hackers and attackers, and more apps than ever seem to be trying to get data from you that is not really needed.

A new app called Privacy Assistant is now on Google Play, and this app will stop unwanted data collection from your Android device. Privacy Assistant was developed by a team of researchers over at Carnegie Mellon University. The researchers studied privacy in the digital age for over six years, looking at how digital privacy works and ways to stop unwanted data collection. The researchers then took everything they learned from looking at digital privacy and made an Android app that will modify the privacy settings on your phone for you based on your privacy concerns and needs.

Privacy Assistant automatically will customize and adjust your Android phone privacy settings, and all you have to do is fill out questions about your concerns and views on the collection of your information. An example to help you understand is when you first open up Privacy Assistant; it will ask you about five questions to get to know your privacy concerns and opinions. Some questions that are asked include if you feel okay knowing that social media apps can access your camera. Other questions involve things like gaming apps that use GPS to get your real location. The app will then recommend privacy settings for you based on your answers, and you can either go with the recommendation or change the recommended settings.

The only bad news about Privacy Assistant right now is that this new privacy app only works on rooted Android phones. This means that you need Android 5 or Android 6 and it has to be a rooted device in order to work, which is something most people might not have done. This means that the amounts of people running Android that could use this app might be a little small. If you have never heard of rooting, it is basically where you open up your Android device for complete customization abilities.

Rooting your device does give you a lot more in terms of customizing, but it often will void the warranty out. Not to mention, if you root your device wrong, you could end up with a bricked Android phone. It is estimated that only about 25 percent of all Android devices have been rooted, with a lot of those rooted devices being in Asia and other countries. While you should not root your device specifically for installing this app, rooting is a good way to take over control of your Android device if you know what you are doing.

When you look at the fact that people can have up to 100 apps running on their Android device, you need to think about all of the data that is being collected. Some of this data collection is unwarranted and unwanted, but it is hard to keep track of when you have a ton of apps on your device. The researchers over at Carnegie Mellon have even published reports showing how Android and other smartphone users are shocked and angry when they find out the data that is being collected from their devices, often times without really being aware of the collection. That is why the researchers developed this app, which is to allow the basic Android user the ability to control which information and data are being shared. You do not need to know that much about the process to be able to use this app, which means by answering the questions you will get those recommendations that you can use to know which data you want to share with your apps.

Privacy Assistant will continue to work in the background on your Android device and will update your privacy recommendations as you install more apps on your device. You can change permissions on apps already installed and make new guidelines for those apps you just installed, and the app will even tell you what permissions you should deny on the apps. You can get this new app, Privacy Assistant, right now from Google Play if you have a rooted Android device and are concerned about the data collection on your device.