Apps and Permissions

karbar32

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2012
21
0
A disturbing observation...
As a new tablet owner (Acer 500), I was taken back by a rundown of permissions for-of all things, an antivirus program (AVG Antivirus Free).

Permissions

This application has access to the following:


  • Your accountsmanage the accounts list
    Allows the app to perform operations like adding and removing accounts, and deleting their password.
  • Your locationcoarse (network-based) location
    Access coarse location sources such as the cellular network database to determine an approximate tablet location, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine approximately where you are. Access coarse location sources such as the cellular network database to determine an approximate phone location, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine approximately where you are.
    fine (GPS) location
    Access fine location sources such as the Global Positioning System on the tablet, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine where you are, and may consume additional battery power. Access fine location sources such as the Global Positioning System on the phone, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine where you are, and may consume additional battery power.
  • Your messagesedit SMS or MMS
    Allows the app to write to SMS messages stored on your tablet or SIM card. Malicious apps may delete your messages. Allows the app to write to SMS messages stored on your phone or SIM card. Malicious apps may delete your messages.
    receive SMS
    Allows the app to receive and process SMS messages. Malicious apps may monitor your messages or delete them without showing them to you.
    read SMS or MMS
    Allows the app to read SMS messages stored on your tablet or SIM card. Malicious apps may read your confidential messages. Allows the app to read SMS messages stored on your phone or SIM card. Malicious apps may read your confidential messages.
  • Network communicationfull Internet access
    Allows the app to create network sockets.
    create Bluetooth connections
    Allows the app to view the configuration of the local Bluetooth tablet, and to make and accept connections with paired devices. Allows the app to view the configuration of the local Bluetooth phone, and to make and accept connections with paired devices.
  • Your personal informationread sensitive log data
    Allows the app to read from the system's various log files. This allows it to discover general information about what you are doing with the tablet, potentially including personal or private information. Allows the app to read from the system's various log files. This allows it to discover general information about what you are doing with the phone, potentially including personal or private information.
    read contact data
    Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your tablet. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people. Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your phone. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people.
    write contact data
    Allows the app to modify the contact (address) data stored on your tablet. Malicious apps may use this to erase or modify your contact data. Allows the app to modify the contact (address) data stored on your phone. Malicious apps may use this to erase or modify your contact data.
    write Browser's history and bookmarks
    Allows the app to modify the Browser's history or bookmarks stored on your tablet. Malicious apps may use this to erase or modify your Browser's data. Allows the app to modify the Browser's history or bookmarks stored on your phone. Malicious apps may use this to erase or modify your Browser's data.
    add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners' knowledge
    Allows the app to send event invitations as the calendar owner and add, remove, change events that you can modify on your device, including those of friends or co-workers. Malicious apps may send spam emails that appear to come from calendar owners, modify events without the owners' knowledge, or add fake events.
    read Browser's history and bookmarks
    Allows the app to read all the URLs that the Browser has visited, and all of the Browser's bookmarks.
  • Phone callsread phone state and identity
    Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. An app with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.
  • Storagemodify/delete USB storage contents modify/delete SD card contents
    Allows the app to write to the USB storage. Allows the app to write to the SD card.
  • System toolsformat external storage
    Allows the app to format removable storage.
    retrieve running apps
    Allows the app to retrieve information about currently and recently running tasks. Malicious apps may discover private information about other apps.
    delete all app cache data
    Allows the app to free tablet storage by deleting files in app cache directory. Access is very restricted usually to system process. Allows the app to free phone storage by deleting files in app cache directory. Access is very restricted usually to system process.
    mount and unmount filesystems
    Allows the app to mount and unmount filesystems for removable storage.
    disable keylock
    Allows the app to disable the keylock and any associated password security. A legitimate example of this is the phone disabling the keylock when receiving an incoming phone call, then re-enabling the keylock when the call is finished.
    write sync settings

  • Allows the app to modify the sync settings, such as whether sync is enabled for the People app.
    modify global system settings
    Allows the app to modify the system's settings data. Malicious apps may corrupt your system's configuration.
    change Wi-Fi state
    Allows the app to connect to and disconnect from Wi-Fi access points, and to make changes to configured Wi-Fi networks.
    write subscribed feeds
    Allows the app to modify your currently synced feeds. Malicious apps may change your synced feeds.
    Bluetooth administration
    Allows the app to configure the local Bluetooth tablet, and to discover and pair with remote devices. Allows the app to configure the local Bluetooth phone, and to discover and pair with remote devices.
Yikes!

An update for itstates that it can access the camera on the tablet. Now why would an app need to be able to turn on the camera-and access the microphone, anytime someone wanted to? Goes without saying, but I don't want some Orwellian Big Brother surreptitiously watching me, knowing where I am, or what I'm doing.

Is there anyway to block what an app can do, or do you simply pass on installing it?
 

Spider

Administrator
Staff member
Mar 24, 2011
15,789
1,813
Is there anyway to block what an app can do, or do you simply pass on installing it?

AFAIK you either agree to the permissions requested or pass on installing it. FWIW I've had AVG installed on my tablet for over a year now with no apparent ill effects. My reasoning is: If you want it to thoroughly scan your tablet, it has to have permission to access everything on the tablet. If you don't subscribe to that philosophy, don't install it. That list is pretty daunting isn't it?:rolleyes:
 

karbar32

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2012
21
0
Yeah. And scanning thru other apps' permissions they seem equally daunting. Even a radio tuner app for a phone & tablet wants access to phone's number and serial number. There's just some info that I don't think needs to be provided.
 

Frederuco

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jul 6, 2011
1,980
503
There are some apps that you can revoke permissions on apps, but you MUST be rooted in order to run them.

I think one of them is called Permission Denied
 
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