Background location access reminder

Android 10 features a background access location reminder, which increases transparency into how much access apps have to a device's location and helps users maintain control over such access. In Android 9 and lower, an app can track a device's location while running in the background without the user's knowledge. Users can suppress this behavior in Android 10 by selecting either the Allow only while using the App or Deny location access permission.

Background location access notification image

Figure 1. Background location access reminder.

A reminder gets triggered when an app accesses data protected by the fine-location permission method ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION while in the background. To prevent unnecessary interruptions to the user, the reminder doesn't show all background activity for all apps in a single notification. The user sees one reminder per day, maximum. When an access request triggers the background location access reminder, it shows either later in the same day, the next day, or days later, depending on how many total reminders needed to be pushed. For example, a total of 3 notifications takes 72 hours to show.

Notifications aren't triggered for the following:

  • Apps that have permission granted by default, such as system services.
  • Apps that are granted Allow all the time location access permission, that have already accessed the device location in the background for the first time.
  • Apps that receive location updates in the foreground only.
  • Apps that receive coarse-location updates only.

Most preinstalled apps have their permissions granted by default. You don't need to take any action to implement the background location access reminder feature, and you can't customize it. This feature is tested by CTS.