PrivacyGrade rates Android app privacy and informs about third-party use

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 28, 2014
Mobile Computing

Apps on the Android platform can request no extra permissions or a bunch of them. While it is sometimes easy to find a reason for a permission, a web browser needs Internet access for instance, it is often not clear right away.

For instance, why does Angry Birds require permission to read the phone status and identity? Turns out it does not really but uses the information for analytics.

It is up to the user to install or block the installation of an app based on the permissions displayed before the installation starts, and that works considerably well for tech-savvy users who have enough experience to determine if a permission is required for an applications' core functionality or if it is used for marketing purposes or worse.

Privacy Grade, created by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, is a service that grades the privacy of smartphone applications.

It enables users to browse applications found on Google Play or search for an application right away. Information included a detailed list of permissions and explanations of them, in particular the what and why.

If you check the popular game Fruit Ninja Free for instance, you will notice that it uses some of the permissions for marketing and advertisement purposes. One of the reasons why it requires precise and approximate location permissions is that it uses the information to deliver targeted advertisement.

Besides listing permissions and explanations, Privacy Grade lists third-party libraries that are used by the application as well. The use of third-party apps can have several purposes. Apps may use the third-party Facebook library to use services provided by the site.

Other libraries may be used to display advertisement to the user while the app is being used, and if that is the case, it is highlighted by Privacy Grade as well.

Privacy Grade makes available other information that are useful. It highlights the most popular apps that you find on Google Play for instance, or reveals which permissions are being requested most often in each category.

Each app is graded after analysis which A being the best and F the worst grade available. Grades are assigned  using a privacy model that the researches built. What it does basically is measure the users expectation of an apps' behavior and the actual behavior of an app. Detailed information about that is available on the FAQ page on the Privacy Grade website.

Closing Words

Privacy Grade is a much needed service on today's Internet. It appears that many Internet users install apps and games regardless of permissions that these programs request and are unaware of the consequences that this can have.

While the web service is great for checking apps that you have installed or plan to install, a direct solution in app form that intercepts the installation process and informs the user about that particular app would be more useful.

Still great service that will be an eye-opener for some users.

PrivacyGrade rates Android app privacy and informs about third-party use
Article Name
PrivacyGrade rates Android app privacy and informs about third-party use
Privacy Grade is a free service that rates the privacy of Android applications. It explains permissions and reveals third-party library use on top of that.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Rush said on August 28, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    If Nothing OS is nothing more that an overlay with Google still in the midst….then I ain’t interested.

    1. Seeprime said on September 12, 2023 at 4:12 pm

      Another unrelated comment older than the article. Pathetic.

      1. Robenroute said on September 13, 2023 at 9:06 am

        it is becoming mindbogglingly annoying indeed…

  2. ThisIsTheWayTheGhacksEnds said on September 13, 2023 at 9:09 am


    Apple was forced to add USB-C to a phone and the maccultists start talking about “revolution” and “paradigm shift” (as if USB phones had never come out before). It’s so ridiculous it’s reminiscent of comedians doing the “stepped on a water hose” stunt – that was at least somehow funny a hundred years ago.
    Reading this on a site that used to be a technical resource is especially ridiculous.
    How pathetic

  3. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    “An iPhone 15 with a USB-C port will mean more than you think”

    That Apple can finally stop hindering progress if spanked hard enough ?

  4. Alex Hales said on September 21, 2023 at 12:51 am

    I’m thrilled to see Instagram taking steps to enhance the user experience with features like Live Activities. This update is a game-changer, especially for those who frequently upload content on the platform.

    The ability to track upload progress in the background is a simple yet incredibly useful addition. It not only keeps users informed about the status of their uploads but also allows for a more seamless experience on the platform. No more constantly checking if your post has successfully uploaded or worrying about interrupted uploads due to a weak signal.

    As an active Instagram user, this feature is a relief. It showcases Instagram’s commitment to improving user satisfaction and addressing common pain points. It’s all about making the platform more user-friendly, and this feature certainly accomplishes that.

    I can’t wait to try out Live Activities and enjoy a stress-free posting experience. Kudos to Instagram for continually innovating and making our social media lives easier!

    Keep up the great work, Instagram, and thanks to ghacks for keeping us in the loop with the latest tech updates!

    I am additionally add one more think if you want to watch instagram stories anonymously to visit site

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.