Android P will not allow apps to access Network Activity for added privacy

Google Android P will bring native safeguards which will prevent the apps from accessing network activity files.

It was not long ago when it was discovered that a number of Android apps are illegally tracking children violating the privacy laws. Following the violation of the privacy laws, Google had started an investigation and had also promised that strict actions will be taken against the developers of such apps. It now seems like that the tech giant is also working on developing a fix that will patch the privacy flaw which is said to prevent the Android apps from tracking the network activity.

Android P will not allow apps to access Network Activity

As per some reports from the XDA-developers, the Google Android P will bring native safeguards which will prevent the apps from accessing network activity files. The network activity files contain information like the details about the other apps that connect to the internet, when those apps go online and what server they connect to etc.

According to a commit that was spotted in (AOSP) Android Open Source Project clearly mentions that 'Start the process of locking down proc/net. Files in /proc/net leak information. This change is the first step in determining which files apps may use, whitelisting benign access, and otherwise removing access while providing safe alternative APIs'. This means that the /proc/net is a virtual directory that stores the information like network statistics and also related networking parameters.

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As of now, the Android apps don't have any kind of restriction when it comes to accessing the /proc/net files. This implies that the apps can track a user's device's network activity and sends the data to the developers. However, following the changes, it will be restricted to access the files containing network connectivity detail. Also, all the apps that seek to access the /proc/net/files will now be thoroughly checked in order to make sure that the possibility of abusive usages is controlled.

Android P will not allow apps to access Network Activity

However, the XDA-Developers' report further states that the changes will only be live for the apps which are targeting API level 28. This means that the new privacy tools might appear in Android P or its Developer Preview soon. Also, for the apps that are targeting API levels lower than 28 will continue to have access to the network activity files.

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