I’m running OpenOS with OpenGApps pico to easily download and update many apps I use. However, I care about privacy, so I restricted Google Services e.g. the permission to look into my calendar or to read my text messages (by controling every App that contained “Google” with XPrivacy).
But @paulakreuzer says that Google has “more power” than XPrivacy (which I don’t believe since XPrivacy is a Superuser App) and the ability to bypass the XPrivacy-block to gain private dataq anyway.
Could any technical-skilled person (e.g. @freibadschwimmer, he is very tech-competent in my opinion) confirm or - hopefully - deny this?
Thanks for your help!
Google apps are system apps, thus have system permissions. For example, Google Play on system can install apps on their own, but F-Droid on userspace cannot. I would call root permissions and system permissions similar, but you have control over apps requesting root access and can’t control whether system apps do root tasks.
Furthermore, Google Mobile Services contains not only apps, but system libraries 1, which are more deeply integrated into system.
1 -> used to? I’m not sure how it’s their actual status.
I would also add XPrivacy is not 100% safe as stated by its author here and as per this proof-of-concept
I use it because I prefer to have something which hardens my system, rather than nothing, but I assume there could be the possibility (and thinking about Google I’m quite sure of it) my data would leak the same.
Thanks for your reply, but now I am a bit disappointed… Can I do something else to restrict Google’s permissions? (Except deleting it)
I would recommend to install a firewall like AFwall+ to restrict network access.
I also use AFWall+ and it is very useful, but also this is not a 100% safe solution, because it simply changes iptables kernel rules in order to block connections, but I assume Google libraries and apps (which are installed at system level and for sure are able to gain root permissions) could be able to bypass these rules by modifying them when needed (and perhaps restore them after use? )
Just to clarify my position I don’t want to say that these apps/frameworks are useless, in fact I use them in order to render the life of “privacy thieves” a bit harder, I am also a bit paranoid, and do not have social networks accounts nor privacy critical apps like whatsapp or so, but I know there is always the possibility to bypass these restrictions given that nobody can achieve full control of his/her phone, not only due to Google apps but also (and more critical from my point of view) due to the binary blobs and firmwares which are beyond the boundary even of open source OSes installed on every phone.
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