Android 10 Comes with a Galore of New Safety, Security, and Privacy Features

By Bill Toulas / September 4, 2019

The next major release of the world’s most popular mobile operating system has landed, and Google has ditched the dessert names for a straightforward “Android 10”. Besides the expected UI improvements, features enrichment, and support for new technologies such as foldable phones and 5G internet, Android 10 comes with major improvements in the areas of privacy and security. Google has announced almost 50 new features in this field, promising far greater user data protection, higher transparency levels, and ultimate control over what is happening on our devices.

Starting with the most important of them all, users will now be able to set strict permissions and restrictions on how the apps access their device’s location. More specifically, the users will be able to allow an app to access the location data only when it is in use and running in the foreground. Once the user turns their attention to somewhere else, the app location data access will be paused even if the process isn’t terminated. On the same chapter, Android 10 will now require the granting of additional permission for network-based location scanning. To prevent tracking, apps will not be allowed to access non-resettable device identifiers such as the IMEI number. For those who like to use external storage such as an SD card, Android 10 is now allowing apps to create private sandboxes there to protect the data from unauthorized access. If shared media files need to be used, the app will have to do it through the MediaStore system.

On the security aspect of the mobile OS, we already saw a great amount of work on that part with Android Pie, and Android 10 is taking things even further. First, all of the user data stored in Android 10 are encrypted with Adiantum. Moreover, the default TLS standard has been bumped up to version 1.3, which is a major revision over 1.2. From a practical perspective, TLS 1.3 makes eavesdropping on a target device harder. Google’s engineers have also incorporated various hardening features and updates to the BiometricPrompt framework, with implicit and explicit authentication becoming more seamless and far safer at the same time. Finally, there will be no sudden apps launching from the background and jumping into the foreground in Android 10. New restrictions on how activities from the background are getting started will block such annoyances.

Are you excited with what Android 10 brings on the security and privacy fronts, or do you still prefer to use an iOS device? Let us know where you stand in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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