OpenPDroid

One of the things that I really miss in Android is the ability to selectively disable certain permissions for applications. And this is the main reason why I refuse to install some applications, like WhatsApp: I don’t want to have a spy in my pocket which can record voice, read my mails, my SMS/MMS messages, access the network with no restrictions, etc. No, no and no. I do care about my privacy and the security of my data.

Today, while reading some forums, I read about OpenPDroid. OpenPDroid seems to be a collection of patches that can be applied to certain AOSP ROMs. These patches allow precisely what I’m looking for. From http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2098156:

OpenPDroid is a set of modifications to the Android framework and libraries which allows fine-tuning of the data which applications are able to retrieve about your device, your account, your messages, and more. Specifically, it is a Privacy service provider (using the PDroid 1.51 interface) forked from CollegeDev’s PDroid 2.0, which is itself an extension of Syvat’s PDroid.

There’s an auto-patcher tool that takes a custom AOSP ROM in the form of a ZIP file, applies the patches to it and generates two new ZIP files (e.g. to be installed with ClockworkMod recovery): one to install OpenPDroid and another one to uninstall it.

I have built the auto-patcher from the git repository and tried to patch cm-10.1-20130131-NIGHTLY-n7100.zip:

$ git clone https://github.com/mateor/auto-patcher.git
$ cd auto-patcher
$ ./batch.sh
$ ./auto_patcher cm-10.1-20130131-NIGHTLY-n7100.zip openpdroid
...
### finished ###
flash update-cm-t03g-20130131-openpdroid.zip to install the patched files
flash restore-cm-t03g-20130131.zip to restore the original system

I haven’t flashed OpenPDroid yet. I’ll probably try on another phone first, as I saw that some patches that were applied by the auto-patcher failed entirely to get applied.

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