1. jaebberwock's Avatar
    A lot of people click right past the permissions without really considering what kind of access you really are giving the person who owns the app and what the price of "free" really is. Even the more common permissions like read/write text messages/sd drive, phone state gives huge amounts of access to your phone. All developers will say they only use the permission for such and such purpose but all you can do is take their word for it. It is not open source and you can't review the code.

    It is my belief that Android, by design, is made to share your information one way or another. The liberties Google takes in adding people to my chat and contact listing seems to indicate as such and I guess it is the price we pay for such an amazing ecosystem. It would have been trivial to include a system level firewall such as DroidShield but they chose not to.

    I think that my text messages, emails, IMs, and pictures contain some of the most personal, sensitive information about me, especially when taken over a long period of time. It paints a picture of me of when I'm at my best, at my worst, it shows a picture of the real me. Unguarded and unmasked; not the edited, curated stuff you post on facebook.

    Google has access to this, and while I don't like it, I would like to think that an organization like that has internal controls, procedures, separation of duties, or some sort of approval process in place to use that information in a responsible manner.

    A one person operation has no such policy in place and all it takes is one bad app, one bad developer, one lapse in judgment, one updated app with a new permission you didn't notice and your information is up in server somewhere when you may not have wanted it to.

    Regardless of where you stand (I'm sure a lot of developers would say I'm overreacting), I think it is a good idea to periodically go through your apps and review your permissions to make sure you are aware of all the changes that have happened.

    I found a couple of great apps that make reviewing your permissions a lot easier and accessible. They are totally free and require 0 permissions. Judging by the number of installs, most people probably don't care too much about permissions.

    I have zero association with these guys, I just left a good review.


    08-26-2012 05:11 PM