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.

Read storage
android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE

Required to import settings from public folders. On Android Marshmallow (API 23) and newer, if this permission is denied Privacy Browser can import settings from the app’s folders instead.

Write storage
android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE

Required to export settings and download files to the public folders. On Android Marshmallow (API 23) and newer, if this permission is denied Privacy Browser can export settings and store downloads in the app’s folders instead.


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

Read phone status and identity
android.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE

Allows the ads to access to phone state, including the phone number of the device, current cellular network information, the status of any ongoing calls, and a list of any PhoneAccounts registered on the device. This is a dangerous permission and requires the user to explicitly allow it on Android Marshmallow (API 23) or newer. In my testing I have not seen ads attempt to request or use this permission.

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.

Track installs from ads
com.google.android.finsky.permission.BIND_GET_INSTALL_REFERRER_SERVICE

Allows other apps to tell if their installation was launched from an ad in Privacy Browser Free.

Receive data from Internet
com.google.android.c2dm.permission.RECEIVE

Allows Google to send information directly to the AdView without having to receive a request first (cloud-to-device messaging).

Receive data from Internet
com.stoutner.privacybrowser.free.permission.C2D_MESSAGE

Secures the cloud-to-device messages so that only Privacy Browser Free can receive them.