Android P could restrict apps from tracking network activity

As per a new commit on the Android Open Source Project, Google is said to block apps, which target API level 28, from accessing network files.

Published Date
07 - May - 2018
| Last Updated
07 - May - 2018
 
Android P could restrict apps from tracking network activity

Google will kick off its I/O 2018 annual developer conference on May 8, where we expect the company to make a slew of announcements. Android P, the next installation of the Android OS is also expected to be showcased there and ahead of the reveal, XDA developers noticed a new commit on the Android Open Source Project. It suggests that a long continuing privacy flaw could be patched with Android P as apps will be restricted from accessing activity network files, which store details about other apps that connect to the internet. Currently, Android apps have unrestricted access to the network activity files in on a device and they don’t need to access them without asking for any permissions.

As per the report, a commit on AOSP will “start the process of locking down proc/net.”, where the /proc/net contains a bunch of output from the kernel related to network activity and it’s said that currently there is no restriction on apps accessing it. The restrictions will be applied to Android's SELinux rules for apps targeting API level 28 running on Android P and only designated apps will be able to access some of these files. Other applications who want access to the network files will be audited by the system and for compatibility purposes, XDA says that apps targeting API levels less than 28 will still have full access for now, until it will be mandatory in 2019 to apps to target API level 28.

Android P is currently available as a developer preview and it comes with in-built support for devices with a notch on top of the display. There are reports that Google is also working on iPhone X-like gesture-based navigation support for Android P so that OEMs have an option of getting rid of physical buttons and provide more screen real estate to the users. At I/O 2018, Google is expected to officially unveil Android P and also give a look at how this gesture-based navigation will function on upcoming devices.

Speaking of the Google I/O event, the company will be hosting it at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, which is located at Google's Mountain View headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area. We will be covering the event in detail and report everything being announced. You can read our what to expect from Google I/O 2018 here.

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