Android Apps versus for browser for privacy

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by roark37, Dec 7, 2013.

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  1. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Hi, I am trying an Android tablet and have a major issue with App permissions as virtually all seem to invade privacy. It seems you have to accept these as there is no option other than not to use App. But every one I have looked at seems to require many things not needed that could be used maliciously. The key seems to be "could" but I have a huge problem with that as how could you know? So my questions are do iphone/ipad apps do the same thing or are they more private and not allowed? Similar question about Windows phone apps.

    And lastly is using the browser(chrome) that comes with android instead of apps more private? I am guessing it would but the whole point of me wanting a tablet was to use apps so the whole thing is discouraging. Similarly would using a small 11.6 windows laptop basically just for the browser be even more private and secure than using android at all?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kilmore

    Kilmore Registered Member

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    I'm trying the same thing since my Windows laptop died and have similar concerns.
    Apps make me nervous and I wouldn't install one unless I had absolute faith in the publisher. As far as Chrome goes, it seems to be the best performing browser, but you cannot block 3rd party cookies or install any sort of adblocking, so I'm pretty much resigned to losing all my privacy if I carry on using it.
    Firefox for Android allows both cookie blocking and adblock plus, so should be the best solution. I'm having trouble with it's performance at times though and need to experiment with it some more.
    I tried a Chromebook first. The 11"screen was too small. A 7" tablet is, ironically, easier to see as I can hold it closer to me than a laptop, but I will be very interested in hearing any opinions about Android vs Windows.
    I'm also finding Android a steep learning curve after years of Windows, but that's another story.
     
  3. SouthPark

    SouthPark Registered Member

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    On Android, I use the open-source Tint browser, which allows for some ad blocking as well as Incognito Mode.

    https://f-droid.org/
     
  4. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    downloaded this and it works great...any other recommended apps you use?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  5. roark37

    roark37 Registered Member

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    Does anyone know if when using an Android tablet and you use the browser can the website tell the name of Android tablet/phone being used? For example if using Android tablet with a Google username/account which you must do and you open Chrome and go to say NY Times website and the log in with that site username & password. Can the NY Times tell also what your Google name/email account associated with the tablet is? The same general question for all websites. Another one would be if using browser to check Yahoo email, would Yahoo also know and be able to connect Android Google name/email to Yahoo information? Thanks.
     
  6. anotherPackerFan

    anotherPackerFan Registered Member

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    I believe this is my first post. I browse this forum quite a bit, but I usually dont ever post.

    F-droid is great, you can find some great apps in there. I personally use a number of apps from there, for browsers - Lightning Browser and Zirco. I use K-9 Client and APG for my mail client with encryption respectively. (I dont use the built in gmail client or built in mail client.) A few other apps I think are pretty decent out of there:

    Yaxim - IM client (they have Xabber in there too, but you pay in permissions for all the extra good looks in that IM client)
    Weather Notification and Forecast widgets- weather
    Terminal Emulator - terminal
    ServeStream - Listen to my online radio stations (you have to find them yourself, which is much harder now since they shut thestreamcenter.com down)
    KeepassDroid - Password Manager
    AntennaPod - podcast downloader
    DroidWall - Firewall (root required)
    aCal - calendar
    autostarts - (root req'd)
    Ghost Commander - SMB file and network sharing


    If you have root and use google play-market, you can check out an app called permissions free, which i think is now called permissions explorer. To kill certain apps, you need root though. If you use titanium Backup, you can freeze whatever app you like.

    As far as your privacy, the browser will identify itself as whatever you set it as, or whatever the developer of the browser you are using allows it to. Many have the option to select the user agent. Using a specific app, say the NYT app, all that info is built into the app, which makes it convenient to use, you not only pay for that convenience in the purchase, but also in that they send whatever data they wish to their servers. Browsers, generally send your user agent, version, general info etc. Of course, with Chrome, its not open source, so you don't exactly know what google is/is not sending, so all bets are off. Generally, the end user would no best, because he/she knows what permissions they allowed it access to when they agreed to use the app.

    Also, you DO NOT have to use an android phone/tablet with a google account. Of course your life becomes immensely harder. You will not be able to use the google play store, you will not be able to install your play store purchased apps(most apps purchased from the play store "check in/phone home" to the play store to see if they have been legally purchased). You would not be able to sync your contacts or accounts with google. You would have to get apps from someplace like F-Droid or Amazon, or some other app store, there are others out there.

    EDIT: As far as apple, it is generally the same. Apple is completely proprietary, so they hide what permissions what apps need for your "safety". Android, vanilla android at least, is open source. Of course, after Google, and they your phone or tablet manufacturer get done putting all their garbage on there, it becomes pretty terrible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  7. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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