Android 10, how geolocation permissions change

On Android 10 you can change make app permissions more restrictive regarding location access. Here's how to do it

Among the many changes brought by Android 10 in the management of privacy and security of devices and user data, there's one that may bother some, but is actually very powerful: the management, much more accurate than in the past, of geolocation permissions.

Until Android 9, in fact, all the permissions that an app asked for were granted in a single block at the time of installation. After that, it was possible to revoke them one by one, but with a simple choice: yes or no. Since the arrival of Android 10, however, things have changed because it is finally possible to limit one of the biggest privacy violations implemented by most applications: the tracking of our position, through access to GPS or to the parameters of any Wi-Fi networks, even when the app is not running. That is, in practice, the fact that if we have installed an app and granted permission to access our location, it can know where we are even if we are not using it. All of this, with Android, can be limited. Here's how.

Location Access on Android 10

Unlike on Android 9 or earlier versions of Google's mobile operating system, on Android 10 the possible choices are no longer two, but three: Allow Always, Allow Only While Using App, Deny. It's easy to see the difference from the past: now we can choose which apps to trust and which not. In this way, for example, we can prevent an app that we use very little from knowing our location when we're not using it. As soon as we open it, though, it will have access to the device's geolocation until we close it.

How to change geolocation permissions on Android 10

On stock Android 10, the one we find on Google Pixel and Android One devices, there's an entire settings page dedicated to managing location access permissions. We find it under Settings > Geolocation. Here we find the switch to turn geolocation devices on and off, the list of apps that have most recently asked for our location, and "App permission". This is where we'll find the settings we need to change to adjust each app's access to our location. But, beware: some apps, such as Google Maps, may not work properly if they can't track our location all the time.