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Android is making big changes to its privacy controls

Android 10 is finally here (at least, for most users), and with the advent of the new software comes a host of new privacy features.

They’re all meant to help bring users additional control over their data and the way their devices use said data.

These new augments come with exciting new customization options, so we’ve put together a handy guide on how Android 10 can keep your actions and data private. After all, we trust our smartphones with every facet of our lives. Why not do everything we can to protect all that information?

All of your privacy settings are now in the same place across devices

With Android 10, you can use any device and still find your privacy settings in the same exact place. Whether you use a Google Pixel smartphone or opt for a Samsung Note 10+, privacy settings will be in the same area, and they’re easier to find than ever.

No more frustrating and complicated menus to dig through, just simplicity. Head to Settings > Privacy to adjust all the privacy preferences you want to alter.

For instance, in this location, you can choose which apps have full access to your device and when, whether your screen will display passwords as you type them in and even which notifications show up on your lock screen when your phone is locked.

There’s a myriad of customizations, so get to know this section intimately.

You now have more control over what location data you share with apps

Android 10 brings more control than ever over what kind of location data is shared across apps. You can grant location access to a certain app at all times or even turn it off completely. There’s also an option to allow access only when the app requires it.

For instance, location access would make sense for Google Maps, since it must use location data to continue tracking you and offer navigation instructions. Having it on all the time doesn’t seem as logical, nor would it for several other apps.

Because several apps take this approach and try to acquire access when it isn’t necessary, Android 10 features an alert that will notify you if an app has access at all times.

You can choose to customize permissions straight from the notification as a precaution without navigating through the your menu to make changes.

You can control what app data is stored and what apps run in the background

Android 10 gives you more control over what data is stored on your phone, such as your web and app activity, as well as how long it’s kept.

To that end, you can also restrict the abilities of apps to launch in the background without your explicit permission.

This is meant to help users take back control over exactly what happens on their devices, as well as offer ways to protect users from apps that may be performing seedy actions in the background.

Apps that do wish to take control and run without user input will have to seek permission first; if denied, they will be unable to open to perform their desired action.

If you’ve ever used a smartphone with apps that constantly run in the background, you’ll know how big this is from a privacy standpoint, since you never know exactly what those apps are doing or what information they’re sending.

You can finally turn off ad targeting

Credit: Google

How frustrating is it when your information is used to help decide which ads to serve you? It feels invasive, that’s for sure, and you never know where that information is going.

You search for a new high chair one day, and you begin to see an endless parade of infant supplies later that evening. It’s creepy, so Android 10 now helps you put this to rest by letting you opt out of ad personalization and ad retargeting.

This means developers of various apps cannot use your Advertising ID (unique to your device) to show you ads they think you’ll like. This may be one of the coolest features an Android iteration has rolled out yet. It’s certainly a boon for anyone who values their privacy.

With all of these much-needed changes in Android 10, taking charge of your privacy is now simpler than ever.

There are tons of new features to explore with the latest iteration of Android, so don’t be afraid to jump in. You just may end up falling in love with your smartphone all over again.

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