Are you bothered by app permissions?


  1. Earnoldo

    Earnoldo Member

    I have been reluctant to install some apps because of permissions, i.e., access to contacts, access to SD card, access to phone logs and system's various log files, etc. Some of these apps have been installed thousands of times. Do apps communicate with their mothership and transfer personal data? Am I being overly paranoid or are these permissions real privacy concerns? Thanks.

    Earnoldo

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  2. Metroid Prime

    Metroid Prime Oil Can!!! Oil Can!!! VIP Member

    Rxpert83 likes this.
  3. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Most apps need those permissions for normal operation of the app.


    Well known and trusted apps/developers will explain why they need each permission.

    If you are ever hesitant, email the developer. If they don't reply or don't have a good reason for it, its probably best not to install:D
  4. Earnoldo

    Earnoldo Member

    Thanks Metroid prime and Rxpert83. It's time for me to go app hunting.
  5. Metroid Prime

    Metroid Prime Oil Can!!! Oil Can!!! VIP Member

    It's also good to read the comments too. Not just the first few, but most anyway to know how the app is and others experiences. And when it doubt you can always ask here about an app. :)
    Rxpert83 likes this.
  6. Dominosdad

    Dominosdad Member

    I notice that a couple of apps recently have updated themselves and wanted a new permission set- access to the phone/call record etc. i.e. genuinely private stuff.
    They weren't in anyway phone related apps and I'm certain they didn't ask for this before. (I wouldn't install even one like that, let alone two different ones).
    They were both very different apps and originally installed at different times. I can't remember what they were. They are no longer on my phone.
  7. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    I was recently looking at installing a camera app and noticed a few wanted permission to access texting stuff. I couldn't understand why they wanted access to those. I did find a few that didn't want those access.

    Now that I think about it, I guess the ones wanted texting permission want it to be able to send the pic by text. I didn't install those but instead installed one without that permission.

    I used to not pay close attention but I am now.
  8. electricpete

    electricpete Well-Known Member

    Better safe than sorry. I steer away from apps requiring lots of permissions.
    Also use Droidwall to help prevent Apps from accessing the internet that don't need to.
    Rxpert83 likes this.
  9. saptech

    saptech Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, Droidwall requires root. Do you know of any similar apps that may work the same without being root? It looks interesting.
  10. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    As far as I'm aware any firewall app requires root.

    If you are interested in rooting there'd plenty of info on this site. Rooting has tons of benefits like droidwall
  11. Dominosdad

    Dominosdad Member

    I was about to install (free) Mahjong by Magma Mobile. But I looked at the permissions. It needs access to the "Phone features..."
    We've all seen Mahjong games, probably loads of them. I can't think of any legitimate reason for this game to require permissions to "...determine the phone numbers and serial numbers of this phone, whether a call is active, the number the call is connected to and the like."
    Which of you would allow an app to bug your phone? Because as far as I can see, that's what this is asking for. And there are plenty more out there. Google shouldn't even be letting this stuff on the Play Store. But apparently this is a "Top Developer"!
  12. shelliewnj

    shelliewnj Well-Known Member

    I thought when it asks for phone permissions, that is because it needs to be able to pause the game when the phone rings.?
  13. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    AppBrain does a better job than Google Play at providing permission warnings.
  14. Dominosdad

    Dominosdad Member

    As well as the above, I just looked at the permissions for "Snap Pea". ( Replaces the ghastly HTC sync for me).
    It's worrying. Obviously it needs access to the things it needs to sync. But this is well beyond what it needs. It takes permissions to see and do everything including sending SMS messages. The list was too long to quote it all, but as well as texting it reads phone calls, location details, allow multicast reception ("receive packets not directly addressed to your device.") and change Wifi state ("Allows an application to connect to and disconnect from Wi-fi access points, and to make changes to configured wi-fi networks"). I was only checking it for unauthorised access to my phone calls!!!!!!
    Needless to say that one is off my device.
  15. Dominosdad

    Dominosdad Member

    Except that it doesn't seem to to do that, yet it does have permission to monitor who we're calling, when we're calling and which device we're calling from.
    And there are an awful lot of games ( in fact all the others I looked at) that don't have the need for this.
  16. Slug

    Slug Check six! Moderator

    Often an email to the developer can clear any confusion up, especially in the case of beta apps not available via Google Play.

    I also recommend PocketPermissions, authored by one of my fellow-moderators here at AF, to check exactly which of your installed apps have requested various permissions and explain why they may have done so.
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