Permissions

Privacy Browser uses the following permissions.

Have full network access
android.permission.INTERNET

Required for the WebView to access the internet. Without this permission, Privacy Browser would be “No Browser: Protecting Your Privacy by Staying Completely Off the Internet”.

Install shortcuts
com.android.launcher.permission.INSTALL_SHORTCUT

Required to add shortcuts for websites to the launcher desktop.


In addition, Privacy Browser Free displays ads from Google’s AdMob network. For the free flavor, AdMob adds the following permissions even though they are not listed in the source code manifest file.

View network connections
android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE

Allows the ads to tell when you are connected to the internet and when you aren’t (presumably so they don’t try to reload an ad when you are disconnected). They can also tell if you are connected via Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, 4G, etc.

Prevent phone from sleeping
android.permission.WAKE_LOCK

Allows the ads to keep the processor from sleeping and the screen from dimming, although in my testing I don’t think the ads actually do this.

Run at startup
android.permission.RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED

Lets AdMob start when the phone boots even if you don’t open Privacy Browser Free. This is a concerning permission because it can allow Google to spy on you. I would either like to find a different ad provider or drop the free flavor of Privacy Browser entirely.

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