Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 update has dominated recent technical news, and that’s partly due to transparency of application monitoring. The service gives iPhone users better control over how apps and websites track them without using their services, and many think the question is, when will similar options come to Android phones?
Google may release it soon Android 12 update, but does not appear to include the application tracking transparency version. Google asked about bringing a similar feature to its platform Limit“We’re always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the boundary of privacy.”
So while something similar may come to Android phones in the future, we may have to wait a while. It doesn’t seem like Google still has an option. Until then, what can you do to improve your privacy on your Android phone? Here’s what you need to know about Android privacy and the tools you can use to protect your information.
What privacy features does Android have?
Android may not yet have the application tracking transparency feature, but what does it offer?
Next, it’s best to see what permissions you’ve given to different applications. If you are running Android 11 On the Access Control page, you can find Settings> Applications and Notifications> Access Control. Here you can see not only what apps are allowed to do, but you can also change when they can use these features (by selecting either all the time only when the app is running or not at all).
Play Protect is another useful, though not 100% guaranteed, security feature. You can find it in Settings> Privacy and then it should be at the top of that screen. Play Protect should turn on automatically and allow you to search the Play Store for applications that may pose a security risk. It doesn’t work all the time, although it can give you peace of mind, and any apps that pass are often just minor threats.
Neither of these features prevents normal applications from monitoring the use of other programs and websites.
How private is private browsing?
This feature is available on most modern browsers, including the versions that appear on phones. Private browsing or incognito mode, as called by Google Chrome, occurs when the browser does not record your search history, website history, or other local information (such as cookies). While all of this is great, how private is it really?
If you’re trying to keep your activities secret from people using the same device, it’s a powerful tool, even though it does very little for everything else. Private browsing mode only stops saving local data. it does not hide your IP address or encrypt any information.
This means that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and any third-party applications on your phone can still get a pretty good idea of what you’re doing. If you are looking for complete privacy, you need to try something else.
VPNs: private is in the name
VPNs (short for Virtual Private Network) are a much better way to keep yourself safe online and protect your privacy when using your Android phone.
When you do something online, you have to send and receive information constantly. Normally, this information travels directly between your phone and the Internet, making it easy for your ISP and others to intercept and peek.
If you use a VPN, it connects you to a private server in the rest of the world. This creates an encrypted tunnel through which your data travels, thus hiding key data.
When someone tries to intercept that information, it’s harder for them to understand what’s going on, and the information doesn’t look like it comes from you. Instead, it appears to come from the location of the VPN server.
However, be aware that not all VPNs are created equal, and some may give you anonymity elsewhere at the expense of the VPN itself monitoring what you do. Our the best VPN guide we explain which services offer you the best protection and which ones give you the privacy you really want.
Compared to the transparency of Apple’s tracking, it’s still not ideal. Unlike this feature, the best VPN services come at a price and certain applications may not work properly if they find that they are using it. Hopefully Android will eventually bring something similar to its platform.