Incognito Mode

The new method would make it easy to hide your data from any application

Steve Kondik took to Google+ earlier today to talk about something new he's been working on called Run in Incognito Mode. Designed to help maintain control over your personal data, it's a per app command that will stop your phone from sending out data to an app that might ask for more than you're comfortable sharing.

We aren't providing ad-blocking or device info (IMEI) spoofing. This feature is designed explicitly to help protect your personal data, and it will remain as such.

So what exactly will Incognito Mode do? Of course we haven't seen it yet, but according to Kondik, the new flag will allow the software on your phone that delivers data (called content providers) to either return the "real" data, or a limited set of data using the following privacy features:

  • Return empty lists for contacts, calendar, browser history,and messages.
  • GPS will appear to always be disabled to the running application.
  • When an app is running incognito, a quick panel item is displayed in order to turn it off easily.
  • No fine-grained permissions controls as you saw in CM7. It's a single option available under application details.

In other words, with Incognito Mode turned on, an app like Facebook will be told that you have zero contacts, nothing in your calendar, no message history and no browser history. Your real contact list, calendar, messages list and browser history will remain unchanged, but the third party app will never know the difference. If the app queries for a location, it will be told that GPS is turned off. All of this will be easily toggled on and off in the quick panel.

No word on when to expect this feature, or even a promise that it will make it's way into CM. It sounds like a pretty easy way to keep your valuable data safe, though, and we hope to see it soon.

Source: +Steve Kondik