1. Android Central Question's Avatar
    It seems like a huge security hole to give random apps control of my camera. Why would an app that does nothing but flash the LED when there's a notification need to use the camera? I've looked at maybe 15 of these apps so far and the ALL use the camera.
    02-06-2019 05:10 PM
  2. belodion's Avatar
    I suppose the flash is a part of the camera, and that the Camera app deals with both inseparably.
    hallux likes this.
    02-06-2019 05:12 PM
  3. chanchan05's Avatar
    The flash on the back is part of the camera hardware, and is controlled through the camera permission/API. So if there's no access to camera, an app can't access the flash.
    hallux likes this.
    02-06-2019 05:14 PM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! belodion is correct -- the LED flash is part of the Camera module, so in order for an app to use the LED flash, it needs permission for the Camera.
    hallux likes this.
    02-06-2019 05:15 PM
  5. Michael McGinnis2's Avatar
    The Android OS programmers are real morons, aren't they? They don't seem to have any concept of computer security.
    02-06-2019 05:37 PM
  6. B. Diddy's Avatar
    To be fair, I don't think the camera flash was originally intended to act as a notification LED. This is kind of a workaround in order to let app developers use the camera flash for this purpose. It's up to the user to be aware of this permission.
    02-06-2019 08:59 PM
  7. Michael McGinnis2's Avatar
    As soon as they decided the phone's LED might be used by anything other than the camera, they should have fixed this. Hard to imagine they hadn't thought the LED might be used as a flashlight.

    No competent OS architect would be that sloppy about security.
    02-07-2019 04:25 PM
  8. Rukbat's Avatar
    Michael, with about 99% of cellphone users using the same password (and usually something like their child's name or their dog's name) for everything, cellphone users can't be generally considered to be security conscious. They want light, they want thin (so they can put the phone in a back pocket, sit down and complain about how easily the screen breaks) and they want it to be as easy to learn to use as an old landline phone was.

    Give it 50 years and cellphone users will learn what a password safe is, and how "easy" it is(n't) to break a 400 bit password. But computers are too new for people to automatically be security conscious (or to be conscious of the fact that if it's not backed up, you don't need it).
    02-08-2019 02:46 PM

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