Android Apps Banned From Accessing SMS, Call logs – Find Out Why?

Google has taken steps to safeguard users' data and privacy

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Android apps permission restricted
Android apps permission restricted (Image Source:Wikipedia)

In a surprising decision, Google has decided to ban Android apps from accessing information which they don’t need.

Calls logs, SMS and other critical user data will be now inaccessible for most of the apps.

Why has Google done this? Keep reading to find out more!

Google To 3rd Party Apps: Sorry, the Party Is Over!

In a post published at Android Developers Blog, Google has informed all Android app developers that call logs, SMS of users will be only allowed to be accessed if they are critical for ‘core functionalities’.

Existing apps will have 90 days to implement this new update, and all new Android apps will have to comply from day 1.

This means that shopping apps won’t be allowed to access SMS and call logs, as they don’t form their core functionality.

More Power To Users Now!

The blog also mentioned that from now on, the app permissions will be granular and not entire.

This means, that once the app is installed, the user will be presented with different screens for getting approval for different functionality.

Hence, for allowing calls logs, the permission screen would be different, for SMS, for photos etc, every screen will have only one permission.

Hence, users will be presented with more power, and more flexibility when it comes to choosing what they want that app to access.

The blog said, “For example, if a developer requests access to both calendar entries and Drive documents, you will be able to choose to share one but not the other,”

As of now, the permission screen is single, and the user is compelled to say yes to every data access. But not anymore.

Which Apps Can Lose Permission Access Now?

In India, shopping apps like Flipkart, Amazon; food delivery apps such as Zomato, Swiggy; travel apps such as Make My Trip, Oyo and others will have to reprogram their apps, and omit access to SMS and Call Logs.

Definitely, they don’t form core functionality of the app.

On the other hand, Truecaller, Whatsapp etc will be allowed to access call logs, as it forms the core functionality.

Paytm too has been ‘whitelisted’ for using SMS and call logs, as they provide UPI based payments and money transfer.

Interestingly, this also means that social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram will lose the access of calls logs and SMS information.

Why Google Is Doing This?

Recently, Google was forced to shut down Google+, after news came in that data of more than 500,000 ‘may have been’ compromised due to a bug in the API. Due to this bug, 3rd party apps attached to Google account of a user was able to access users’ information.

This can be one of the reasons why Google has decided to take a strict action for Android apps.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

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