Google has announced that it has removed the App Ops feature from 4.4.2 (we discovered this 15/11/2013 when 4.4.2 was released several weeks ago). If you didn’t know already, App ops is a hidden app permission feature in Android 4.3 that was discovered late last month. App Ops allows users to disable app specific permissions after install. We’ve reviewed App ops and believe you could utilize this hidden feature right now.
Google now says App Ops was experimental and shouldn’t have been released in 4.3. I find this surprising given they must have known the module must have been included in the final test build. Aren’t hidden features tested in case of potential vulnerability? I do know that some apps did crash when using App Ops, but it’s really up to Google to enforce this privacy and security policy upon developers. After all, it’s in developers interests to conform to Google’s Play Store Developer Program Policies.
My suggestion is if you want to manage your app privacy and security you either stay with Android 4.3 or root your device and install XPrivacy module using the Xposed Framework. alternatively you could also install CyanogenMod 10.2 which comes with Privacy Guard which uses App Ops.
Safe surfing folks!