Protect My Privacy

Android App Privacy Protection

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Protect My Privacy (PMP) lets you protect the personal information on your rooted Android device. It provides a layer of security between apps and the operating system, thereby giving the control back to the user. When an app attempts to access any protected information, an alert is shown and you have the option to "Protect" or "Allow". The software is unique in that rather than merely blocking access to the information, which could cause the app to have unexpected behavior or even crash, PMP instead supplies fake replacement information, such as randomized contact names, or a location specified by you. You can quickly switch between real and fake information, even while the app is running. PMP also provides automatic protection using crowd-sourced recommendations, this uses information from previous manual decisions made by other users for the same app.
In recent years, the phenomenal growth of smartphones and apps running on them has raised significant privacy challenges. In part these challenges are due to the millions of apps created for these platforms, by thousands of developers, not all of whom can be trusted. While OS manufacturers do have review processes in place, often they fail to capture privacy leaks such as have come to light recently. For example, the application Fruit Ninja accessed and transmitted its users' location and carrier information without permission. The use of this information could range from profiting from internet marketing scams, to detailed user tracking and other misuses. We believe that many such privacy invasions exist, and PMP provides the mechanisms to not only detect but also protect the user's privacy from rogue developers by degrading their ability to profit from this information.

PMP relies on individuals to make the choices of what information should be protected or allowed. This information drives our crowd-sourced recommendation feature that provides an automated way of making these decisions. In order to do this the only information we receive are the decisions you make about protecting or allowing to enable this crowd-sourced feature. Right now we can protect a whole range of your personal private data, such as GPS location, Contact List, Call Logs, Calendar, SMS messages and many more.

PMP Android has been developed at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and is freely available for use by anyone. The research project is a an initiative driven by Dr. Yuvraj Agarwal and researchers of SynergyLabs @ CMU. Yuvraj is a faculty member in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. In case you are wondering what information we specifically collect, please see the Help. As academic researchers, we are interested in which apps access private information, studying the privacy decisions of users and the effectiveness of our recommendation engine. We reserve the right to publish the results of this study in academic research conferences. Please note, we take your privacy very seriously and therefor all data is anonymous, is transmitted securely over SSL and stored securely and anonymously.

PMP Android currently requires a rooted Android Device. Almost all current devices are rootable.
To root your device, please refer to
How Do I Root My Android Device.
PMP for Android is available on the Xposed Store and the Google Play Store.

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When PMP detects that an app tries to access private information, it displays an alert on the screen. To make a decision, see the notifications by scrolling down from the top of the screen.
Bringing down the Notification Center displays quick access to changing the protection settings. Buttons labelled 'Allow', 'Deny', and 'Fake' enables you to either allow the app access to the data, restrict access to the data, or provide scrambled fake data to the app.

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The PMP app displays the protection configured so far. These can be viewed by clicking on the "Protected Apps" tab. New apps appear in this list as accesses to various elements of your personal data are detected. The protected elements are represented by the colored icons that reflect the data.
PMP displays system level applications in a separate tab. Such applications are the phone, keyboard, contacts, etc.

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Protection can be configured per app and you can see what types of information have been accessed. The current access configurations "Allow", "Deny", "Fake", or "Ask" are colored in green, red, blue, and white respectively. Clicking on the protection data allows you to select a new access mode.
Developers: Feel your app Might be flagged incorrectly?
PMP simply notifies users when certain types of privacy sensitive information is accessed by a particular application. The users are then free to choose which access to allow or protect. In case you are an app developer and you feel that your application maybe accessing this information unknown to you, please use PMP to determine if that is indeed the case. If you believe that your app is flagged incorrectly, then please check any 3rd party libraries first that you might have linked against. In case you need us to audit your app please contact us.
We are a non-profit research group and the app is currently being tested. We do not take responsibility for any possible errors. This is a research project and we reserve the right to publish our findings at academic conferences. For more information see the Help.

PMP Android is now available in the Xposed Store and Google Play Store. Almost all Android devices are rootable.
To root your device, please refer to How Do I Root My Android Device.