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  • 3 Post By Innovatology
  1. Weeber's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  

    Default Why do so many small apps need such huge access?

    Why does a clock app need to have access to my gps location, or my cloud files?

    There seems to be a lot of little apps that ask for so many permissions. Is this information being sold or what? Can they do that? Is that why the app is free?

    I'm sure they could move more apps with reasonable permissions attached. I'd even pay $0.99 for some apps that are currently free if only the permissions were appropriate for the apps function.
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  2. sh2sg's Avatar
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  3. Weeber's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks! I didn't realize you could go back and change those settings.

    Posted via CB10
  4. Skeevecr's Avatar
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    #4  

    Default

    For gps, perhaps it is intending to update automatically based on location without assuming you have that enabled in your normal clock settings?

    As far as cloud files, does it support custom backgrounds on the clock as those could be stored there as well as on the device, while some stuff seems excessive there may actually be some logic behind them, but as far as your idea that they would sell more apps based on their permissions that seems highly unlikely as people look at functionality and price almost exclusively and plenty not in that order.
  5. Weeber's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #5  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeevecr View Post
    For gps, perhaps it is intending to update automatically based on location without assuming you have that enabled in your normal clock settings?

    As far as cloud files, does it support custom backgrounds on the clock as those could be stored there as well as on the device, while some stuff seems excessive there may actually be some logic behind them, but as far as your idea that they would sell more apps based on their permissions that seems highly unlikely as people look at functionality and price almost exclusively and plenty not in that order.
    You're probably correct on some of those permissions, but it's more than just a clock app, other apps have silly requests too. I'm probably just not realizing all the permissions required to make a quality app.

    The reason I mentioned selling more apps with less permissions is I read many reviews stating the reviewers deleted the app for the express reason of at least perceived silly permission requests.

    I guess my question is can an app collect and send collected information is nefarious ways? Is this possible?
  6. Innovatology's Avatar
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    #6  

    Default

    Yes, this is possible to some extent. If you grant an app permission to access something (e.g. your contacts, e-mail, files, GPS position) it could send that to a server somewhere.

    There are some reasons why apps ask for extra permissions:


    1. currently there are no mechanisms for apps to check which permissions they were granted, nor are there mechanisms to request additional permissions when certain features are first used. For instance, a clock app could ask for GPS permission when you ask it to update its timezone. Unfortunately, that is not possible yet.
    2. the Built For BlackBerry program requires apps to integrate with system services such as the sharing framework, GPS, camera etc. This has caused apps that would otherwise not require permissions to ask for "silly" things. The clock app might want to share a picture of the current time via your shared folders so that it meets the B4BB requirements. Stupid, I know, but it happens.
    3. some permissions are too broad, such as the "identify personal information" permission. Some apps just want a unique ID to be able to provide online services on their server. The device ID or BBID are guaranteed to be unique to the device or the user and are often used, but unfortunately they provide a bit more information than is strictly needed.


    The question is: do you trust the developer. If in doubt, do some research. Read the reviews of blogs and other users, check if they are active in the forums, look at their website, send them an e-mail asking why they need it. A reputable dev will have no problem answering those questions.
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  7. TheMarco's Avatar
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    #7  

    Default

    The 'size' of the app doesn't mean it would need less permissions. For example, The Last Weather App is just a small app but it needs:

    • GPS to pull weather info for your location
    • Filesystem access to generate and write the image to share
    • Internet access to be able to get the weather data
    • BBM access to allow sending stuff to friends


    So yes, simple app but these permissions are needed.

    The good thing about The Last Weather App is that you don't have to take my word for the safety of your privacy. You can read through the source code yourself to see I'm not doing anything with your data
  8. msps's Avatar
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    #8  

    Default

    On android I've tested >10 basic flashlight apps (press the button: camera LED goes on, press the button again: LED goes out)
    before I found one that did not want "full internet access" and access to my phone book and SMS
  9. Smiley88's Avatar
    Developer - ToySoft

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    #9  

    Default

    99% of android apps want internet access and some other BS permissions.
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  10. kill_9's Avatar
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    #10  

    Default

    I tend to disable the permissions during installation and only enable permissions as necessary which usually means they are never enabled. The few applications that need permissions are easy to figure out and the necessary permission is obvious.

    Posted via CB10 on the BlackBerry Z10
  11. Omnitech's Avatar
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    #11  

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msps View Post
    On android I've tested >10 basic flashlight apps (press the button: camera LED goes on, press the button again: LED goes out) before I found one that did not want "full internet access" and access to my phone book and SMS

    Would like to know which one you found that you liked that also didn't ask for ridiculous permissions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smiley88 View Post
    99% of android apps want internet access and some other BS permissions.
    That's because most Android apps are free and rely on Google advertising services to pay the bills. Google advertising doesn't work without an internet connection.


    I also think it would be a great idea to improve the permissions API, and give on-demand permissions control to users among other things.

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