Every time there’s a new version of any OS it seems that new privacy settings creep in and have default values other than what you’d prefer. It’s easy to overlook in the excitement of a major OS bump, but Android 10 has this very same problem! Here are a couple of settings you’ll want to check immediately…
There’s no question that the intention of these developers is great; a new version of a social network, Web site system or operating system offers users the chance to gain even more control over the settings they care about most. Top of the newness nowadays is privacy and better and more granular control over what of your personal information is shared with others. Problem is, us users are then required to keep checking for new settings every time we install any sort of update.
Android is no different and the release of Android Q (sorry, sorry, Android 10) definitely includes some new privacy settings that are going to likely default to something other than what you’d prefer. And if you don’t check, well, surprise, your personal information has been disseminated further than you would want. Just another day in tech land, unfortunately.
The good news is that I’ve already installed Android 10 and dug through the various settings, which is how I can identify the following few that you want to check and ensure are set to your liking. Let’s start with notification screen privacy. In Android 10, privacy has been promoted to its own top level entry in the main Settings. And dark mode. So nice. Here’s the main Settings now and you can see #4 is “Privacy“:
The “Digital Wellbeing” at the bottom is new too and worth checking out, but for now, just tap on “Privacy” to proceed.
Here’s what you’ll see:
Before we go further, tap on “Lock screen” to ensure that you don’t have notifications popping up while you’re away from your phone that should otherwise be shielded, confidential or even completely hidden.
The settings are easy to figure out:
Got that set up properly? Good, now let’s go back to the main Privacy screen, tap on “Advanced” then scroll down and find what is probably the most important privacy setting: “Ads Personalization“.
A tap and here are the options you can adjust:
I would encourage you to “Opt out of Ads Personalization” because otherwise the information shared is all that’s basically wrong with our information rich oversharing world: Do you really want to give up all your privacy so that the ads you see through Android 10 are just a bit more well targeted? Android warns you about that, of course:
Since Google’s primary revenue stream is advertising, and since you’re more likely to click on an ad if it’s well targeted, it’s no surprise that Android also has a strong commercial advertising bias. The warning makes it easy to cancel but a bit concerning to tap on “OK”. Do it anyway; you can indeed always go back and change it back if you find that the ads you’re seeing are really awful. Good either way, actually.
Now, while you’re in the Privacy area, make sure everything else is set as you desire, particularly the Advanced settings. Not sure about something? Search for that option in Google and read up about what exactly it does and how it affects your own privacy. The settings you fix now will be of great benefit down the road, for sure.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Android for years. Please check out my extensive Android help pages for lots more tutorials!