Android 10: Everything you need to know about its new privacy settings

You can now block apps from accessing your location with ease.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

Android Q's Settings app has two new options: Privacy and Location. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google on Tuesday released Android 10 for Pixel phones. Included in the update are several new features, one of which focuses on keeping your personal information private. Google is giving you more control over which apps have access to your personal data, be it your calendar or location. The new Android 10 privacy features come in the form of more granular location controls and a dedicated privacy section in the Settings app. If you have a Pixel phone, you can install Android 10 right now.

The new controls are found as two new options in the Settings app under Privacyand Location. There are five main things worth pointing out, so let's start by taking a look at the new Privacy section, where you can control what data apps and Google services can access. 

Watch this: Android 10 privacy settings: Everything to know


This section has privacy controls for the apps and services on your phone, and you can also access your Google account activity settings here.


Android 10's new permission controls make it easy to audit your apps and the data they have access to. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

First of all, the main feature of the new Privacy section is found under the Permission manager option. In that section, you'll find a list of all the different permission categories, along with a list of apps that currently have access to those permissions. For example, there's a section for apps that have requested access to your calendar. Tap on the Calendar option to view the apps that currently have access, and those that don't. You can turn an app's access on or off with a tap on the toggle.

It's sort of eye-opening when you go through the list of permissions and see which apps have access to things like your microphone or contacts, and worth 10 minutes of your time to go through and make adjustments as needed. 


Google also added shortcuts to your Google account privacy settings. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Secondly, in the Advanced section, you can also find controls for things like what information is shown on your lock screen, Google's Autofill service, Activity information and how you want your device to handle advertising requests. 


The first time an app requests your location in Android 10, this is what you'll see. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET


Thirdly, one change you'll likely notice right away after installing Android 10 is a new prompt whenever you open an app that uses your location information. You'll now be asked if you want to grant that app access to your location all the time, even when the app is closed or running in the background, or only while you are actively using the app.

The Location section of the Settings app is where you can audit which apps have what access to your location. I was shocked to see that 53 apps have constant access to my location; that's far too many.


How many apps have constant access to your location? 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

A fourth thing to note: On your phone, go to Settings > Location  > App permission for a list of all the apps installed on your phone that have location permissions. Scroll through the list to view the apps and their current permission status. The list starts with apps that currently have full access to your location at the top, then goes down to "while in use" and never. Select an app to change its location permission. You have three options: Allow all the time, allow only while using or deny. It's a good idea to go back to this list once in a while to double-check your current settings. 


Android 10's advanced location settings. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

And finally, also included in the new Location section are controls to limit whether or not apps can scan for nearby Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth connections, along with Google-specific location controls.

Watch this: Android Q beta: What's new?

Android 10 has a lot of other changes, included a dedicated dark mode, a new bubbles notification feature and gesture-based navigation. Take a look at the gallery below to get a better feel for the latest flavor of Android. 

Android 10 beta's best new tricks from Google I/O 2019

See all photos

Originally published May 22.