Android may soon offer more granular privacy controls

“Why does this app need access to that?” This question comes up pretty commonly when users are installing or updating an app and looking at iTwitter permissions list. While the answer to that question is invariably something completely innocuous, it can lead to unease for users with dozens of apps wanting access to their camera, microphone, location, photos and contacts.

According to Bloomberg Business, users may finally be getting more choice in these matters. Not surprisingly, Bloomberg’s sources indicate that this announcement will be made at Google I/O later this month, possibly part of Android M.

The source reports that users will have new settings options that allow them to select for themselves which permissions an app may have. With privacy concerns running rampant in recent years, it is easy to see how this would be a desirable feature for many users.

If this report is accurate, it will be very interesting to see how Google handles it with developers and with the exact implementation for the users. Will you be given the option to tweak permissions right when you are installing an app for the first time or making an update? Will there be options to set something as restricted globally? Certainly many apps would be broken if permissions are restricted, so will developers be able to identify only some permissions as optional?

Again, assuming this report proves true at all, we have less than a month until we will have all the answers at Google I/O.

Would you like to have the option of restriction permissions on certain apps or do you trust in developers to not abuse that access?

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