Android Apps too nosy? You better believe it!

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Apps' started by ThomasM, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. ThomasM

    ThomasM Member

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    I searched for open discussions on this topic and decided to start one on this forum instead.
    I wonder how many people will rect to this topic.
    As and old hand in the IT industry and an ardent supporter of Open Source development I am more and more disppointed to notice a disturing trend of even open source applications requiring access to functions and data on your Android phones or tablets that they really don't need.
    I wanted to install the Android Forum App on my tablet but decided against it after studying the rights and privileges that it requests (not requires) but requests. In that case the one that really threw me off was "Access to the camera - being able to take pictures or videos any time". Really?
    Why in heaven's name would the Android Forum App want to take pictures or videos while it was active on my tablet? Are the developers curious if I am picking my nose while reading or contributing to forum articles?
    I am going through all of my apps and I am removing those that seem to be way to nosy for what their actual function is.
    Why would a painting app need full access to my contact data?
    Should users be more aware of what apps are capable of doing on the devices? Should users boycott apps that want more access than they need?
    Please give me your thoughts on this.
    Thanks in advance.
    :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Senior Member

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    You are free to use or not use whatever apps you choose. Most of the apps, if you check the permissions descriptions, have pretty good reasons for accessing what you feel are sections they don't have any business accessing.

    With that said, there are a lot of people who have issues with what Google knows about you but it comes with the territory. You will find in some app update logs that permissions were added or removed as required by th4e developers and those permissions must pass muster with Google as well.
     
  3. ThomasM

    ThomasM Member

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    Yes, of course I can check and I do. I have been looking after hundreds of Linux servers for more than 11 years now and the philosophy of mining data without specific reason is still disturbing to me.
    I guess i keep making the mistake of looking upon the Android OS as open source. While it may be just that most of the apps that are being developed for it are not open source.
    Can you tell me why the Android Forum App needs access to my tablet's camera?
    If an applications needs to generate some revenue then it should either be payed for or have an option to be paid through adds.
    I just think that users should be more aware of what apps do on their devices and they should provide feed back to developers of what is acceptable and what is not.
    I work in a large IT company and one of the reasons why only RIM phones are permitted is because of the large security loopholes provided by apps in all other smartphones.
     
  4. vampirefo.

    vampirefo. Senior Member Developer

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    I rarely pay attention to the permission apps request, if you took the time to use the app, you would probably figure out why an app needs certain permissions.

    In the case of the forum app it wants permission for your camera so you could upload a camera shot if you wanted.
     
  5. Tom T

    Tom T Senior Member

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    Oops, my bad, using graffiti pro and I didn't realize it has the 'make Tom look inept by double posting' permission enabled.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  6. Tom T

    Tom T Senior Member

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    No great concern here, I would say if you are terribly worried the first thing to do would be to find out a little more about what the permissions are and why they are required. you will probably find that without them your apps won't be that useful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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