How does Firefox for Android use the permissions it requests?
When you install any software on an Android device, Android will declare all the functions that the software is capable of, such as accessing your camera, contacts or location. Each permission is accompanied with a brief description to offer an understanding for what it may be used for. In order to install the software, you must acknowledge that you're aware of what the software is capable of by giving Android your permission.
Firefox is capable of the following functions, and Android will require you to accept all of them in order to finish installing it. Each time you visit a website that requires a specific function, such as taking or uploading a picture or finding your location, Android will ask you for permission before it performs that function.
Here's an explanation of these permissions:
- Storage - Modify/delete SD card contents. This allows Firefox to save downloaded files to the SD card. Firefox will also store its own settings and history on the SD card if you use the Android Settings app to move Firefox to SD storage.
- Your location (GPS location) - GPS location is used only when you choose to share your location with a website. Firefox never uses your location itself or shares it with a website without your permission. Learn more about Firefox's location controls.
- Take pictures and videos - When a web page requests an image file to upload, you may choose to take a picture with your device's built-in camera. If a site wishes to use your microphone for communication, you may choose to share that as well — such is the case with sites using WebRTC. Firefox will always display a message asking for permission each time a site asks to add a photo or record audio. It never records audio, takes pictures or records video unless you opt-in each time it asks.
- Network communication (Full Internet access) - This gives Firefox permission to download web pages, add-ons, and other content over the Internet.
- System Tools (Install shortcuts) - This allows you to add bookmarks or web app shortcuts to your device home screen using Firefox.
- System Tools - The Adobe Flash plug-in uses this permission in versions of Firefox that include Flash support.
- System Tools - Modify global system settings. Firefox uses this permission to enable or disable your Firefox Sync account when you change the global sync settings on your device.
- Your accounts - This allows you to manage the accounts list and use the login credentials of an account. If you set up Firefox Sync, then Firefox uses these permissions to add your sync account to the Android sync settings.
- Control Near Field Communication (NFC) - Allows the use of the NFC chip on the device. Firefox uses this permission to share tabs by tapping two devices with NFC together.
- Wi-Fi connection information - Allows Firefox to view whether a Wi-Fi is enabled and the names of devices that are connected to it. This information allows Location Services to work.
- Download Manager - Allows Firefox to download files through the Download Manager without showing the user any notifications.
- Draw over other apps - Allows Firefox to load links in the background while you're using another app. This permission applies only to some devices.