Apps and Privacy

this_is me

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I posted this wondering if anyone can shed some light on why and how these invasions of privacy updates exist.

I was wondering if this is a more appropriate forum for me to post this. Initially I posted it here http://forums.androidcentral.com/tablet-apps/264371-apps-privacy.html

I apologize if this was posted before, I searched and did not find a similar thread. I have my tablet set to not update automatically. I like to see what is being put on my tablet.

My question is, what is up with Apps and breaching privacy, like allowing Pandora and YouTube to randomly turn on your camera?!? More likely they just mentioning this stuff to cover themselves in case they need to utilize their breach in privacy as in a criminal case... like when the Feds need to step in or something. But still, creepy.

Here is a sample of some updates pending on my tablet:

For Magic Puzzles, a "Your social information" update... and I quote:

"Read your contacts... Allows the App to read data about your contacts stored on your tablet, including the frequency with which you've called, emailed or communicated in other ways with specific individuals. This permission allows Apps to save your contact data, and malicious Apps may share contacts without your knowledge."

For Pandora under "Your personal information":

"Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners' knowledge. Allows the App to add, remove, change events that you can modify on your tablet, including those of friends or co-workers. This may allow the App to send messages that appear to come from calendar owners, or modify events without the owners' knowledge."

For Google+ and YouTube "Camera":

"Take pictures and videos. Allows the App to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the App to use the camera at any time without your confirmation."

Why does Pandora or Magic Puzzles need this info? And Google+ ! Sure, I doubt that will happen to me, but still... they mean to tell me they can randomly turn on my camera without my knowledge?!

I don't use the Google calendar. It outright tells you under "Your personal information":

"Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without the owners' knowledge. Allows the App to add, remove, change events that you can modify on your tablet, including those of friends or co-workers. This may allow the App to send messages that appear to come from calendar owners, or modify events without the owners' knowledge. Read calendar events plus confidential information. Allows the App to read all calendar events stored on your tablet, including those of friends or co-workers. This may allow the App to share or save your calendar data, regardless of confidentiality or sensitivity."

I read online how people are not using the tablet's calendar for the reasons I just mentioned. One reviewer for the tablet on a known site (I forgot which one it was, it wasn't CNET) mentioned how they were not using the default calendar because they really did not want Google to know when they had a doctor appointment.

More and more, in order to utilize ease with technology, it feels like you are selling your soul in exchange.

And on a side note, why does YouTube, of all things, need to run at start up and run in the background slowing down start up and your tablet. Google Mail also has this in their latest update.

Am I just being a tad hysterical?
 

this_is me

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I opened up Google Maps update. This was disturbing:

"Directly call phone numbers: Allows the App to call phone numbers without your intervention. This may result in unexpected charges or calls. Note that this doesn't allow the App to call emergency numbers. Malicious Apps may cost you money by making calls without your confirmation."

Weird.
 

Paul627g

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Well one way to look at it.... At least Google has put the proper permissions and explanation of such permissions in place so were aware of it. Gives you the options right off the bat of installing or using the app knowing what it will have access to on your device.

Can't say I agree with all the access they want you to grant but at least its up front and not hidden ;)
 

patruns

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I agree Paul, I make most decisions based on that. However, I would like to see Google get a little stricter with developers and only allow permissions based on what the app is supposed to do. Otherwise, it is kinda like handing someone a signed, blank check for an item when the purchase price should already be clear.
 

Paul627g

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I agree Paul, I make most decisions based on that. However, I would like to see Google get a little stricter with developers and only allow permissions based on what the app is supposed to do. Otherwise, it is kinda like handing someone a signed, blank check for an item when the purchase price should already be clear.

Agreed.
 

this_is me

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Well one way to look at it.... At least Google has put the proper permissions and explanation of such permissions in place so were aware of it. Gives you the options right off the bat of installing or using the app knowing what it will have access to on your device.

Can't say I agree with all the access they want you to grant but at least its up front and not hidden ;)

True, but what about the Google Apps on my Nexus that are already on my tablet such as YouTube which is invasive and cannot be removed, only disabled.

I can pick and choose what to add on but with the Apps by default, well, there's not anything you can do about that.
 

XPERIASL

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Hi guys, I'm looking to restrict YouTube as a website, not an app. I know how to disable the app, but is there anyway I can restrict the actual website? I'm happy to spend a few bucks on a browser, but I can't seem to find one with this capability. In fact, the only browser I know that does it at all (dare I speak it) is Internet Explorer!
please help, I'm not exactly the best with android.
 

this_is me

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Hi guys, I'm looking to restrict YouTube as a website, not an app. I know how to disable the app, but is there anyway I can restrict the actual website? I'm happy to spend a few bucks on a browser, but I can't seem to find one with this capability. In fact, the only browser I know that does it at all (dare I speak it) is Internet Explorer!
please help, I'm not exactly the best with android.

Sorry, I am not much help with that. I had no idea that was possible and you say you can with Internet Explorer?
 

XPERIASL

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Sorry, I am not much help with that. I had no idea that was possible and you say you can with Internet Explorer?

Yeah with Internet Options you can set restricted websites on Admin.

OH and thanks patruns, I didn't know there was Firefox for android. That's solved my problem completely. Cheers.