Published On: Tue, Apr 11th, 2017

Android O Improves User Privacy by Using Random Address for Wi-Fi Scanning & Limiting Device Identifiers

The latest chronicle of Android – a Android O has been accessible as Developer Previews for a month now. The new chronicle brings a accumulation of changes to a interface and today, in a blog post, Google suggested some other changes that have arrived.

Android O gives some-more energy to a users, and they can now control a use of identifiers to keep their remoteness intact. While this new remoteness magnitude is not most conspicuous though it does put a check on device identifiers and a user information that gets requested by apps. Apps will have singular entrance to device’s sequence series while Camera and Bluetooth identifiers will no longer have it.

With this, Android ID (Settings.Secure.ANDROID_ID or SSAID) now carries opposite value for each app and user on a device. The ID value will not change even on package uninstall/reinstall until a package name and a sign-in information stays a same. Third-party developers would need user resettable Advertising ID.

Elaborating on a use of Android ID on Android O, Google writes:

  • The ANDROID_ID value won’t change on package uninstall/reinstall, as prolonged as a package name and signing pivotal are a same. Apps can rest on this value to say state opposite reinstalls.
  • If an app was commissioned on a device using an progressing chronicle of Android, a Android ID stays a same when a device is updated to Android O, unless a app is uninstalled and reinstalled.
  • The Android ID value usually changes if a device is bureau reset or if a signing pivotal rotates between uninstall and reinstall events.
  • This change is usually compulsory for device manufacturers shipping with Google Play services and Advertising ID. Other device manufacturers might yield an choice resettable ID or continue to yield ANDROID ID.

Android O gives singular entrance to apps

However, a prior chronicle of Android that will get upgraded to Android O, their Android ID will sojourn a same unless a user uninstalls a app. On a elemental program level, Android O will beget a pointless MAC residence when inclination indicate for Wi-Fi networks to join. It means that device’s information is singular and nonessential requests are removed. Apps will no longer be authorised to entrance a list of accounts and other services commissioned on a device unless user grants a permission.

The MAC residence randomization will usually work if manufacturers refurbish their firmware on Wi-Fi chipsets. Google’s Nexus 5X and Pixel phones will be a initial inclination to use this underline as Google will refurbish a Wi-Fi chipset firmware to support. It means that other manufacturers will have to follow fit to extend a functionality on their inclination using Android O.

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