privacy and apps

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May 24, 2010 3:35:35 PM via Website

Hello,

I am a new Android user and I saw that some apps ask for unneeded special permissions like your location (either by GPS or mobile network) or cost money services! Or your phone identity etc...

What do you think?

Personnaly, I think sometime it is for ad purpose but it is still frightening.

Here are some examples.

Example 1: And why does "The weather Channel" needs a " Services that cost you money
directly call phone numbers" ?

Example 2: the apps "BBC News listen & tweets" needs "Phone calls
read phone state and identity " which means they can see my phone calls history ??

Example 3: the apps "Toss it" very popular.

It is just a game but it asks among others:
* Network communication
full Internet access, view network state
* Your location
coarse (network-based) location
* Phone calls
read phone state and identity
* System tools
modify global system settings


If you have other strange demands from apps, go on!

— modified on May 24, 2010 4:48:47 PM

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May 24, 2010 9:22:16 PM via Website

I do believe that many of these apps take more information than necessary to work correctly, and that can be alarming. However, many developers are switching to location based advertisements, and that would be a good reason to need your coarse location. The most important thing is to read what you are signing up to download, because that is your agreement.
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May 26, 2010 5:59:17 AM via Website

Douglas Carter
I do believe that many of these apps take more information than necessary to work correctly, and that can be alarming. However, many developers are switching to location based advertisements, and that would be a good reason to need your coarse location. The most important thing is to read what you are signing up to download, because that is your agreement.

I too, have wondered about this. I can understand the location and internet permissions required, but why would they need to do things such be able to send sms and calls that cost money. Have you heard of any malicous apps for the android platform yet, that have cost people money? How well has google been about keeping malicous apps out of the market? And is there any type of anti-malware app for android that you have heard of?
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May 26, 2010 6:06:53 AM via Website

There are many antiwalware apps out there if you want some. But in my opinion as long as you read the comments of th apps, you shouldn't have a problem. As for the apps accessing data, I agree that its for the purpose of getting area specific ads.
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May 26, 2010 6:56:02 PM via Website

I have a antivirus, but I doubt it is useful. Contrary to computers, I think there isn't any center checking if android apps have malware inside. And a well-programmed malware may be invisible to them.

Whatever, we are somewhat condemned to trust apps (or not).

I can understand the location and internet permissions required, but why would they need to do things such be able to send sms and calls that cost money.

May be you can buy "Toss it" by making surtaxed sms?
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May 27, 2010 1:19:37 PM via Website

It is indeed worrying. I haven't given it much thought, but it is true that as soon as the number of Android users reaches a certain level, the number of malicious apps and viruses should spike. Reading some of the previous posts, I came across some people saying that it could be possible to send texts that could actually cost you money!! Has anyone had any negative experiences with that? A really frightening prospect for me....
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Jun 15, 2010 4:02:55 PM via Website

Antoine T.
Example 1: And why does "The weather Channel" needs a " Services that cost you money
directly call phone numbers" ?

If the app contains advertising, this often means it has to contact the internet to download the advertisements. If you are not on wifi, this means that depending on your operator, it can cost you money since you are on the internet. Therefore, all applications that have advertisements, will have the permission to use services that cost you money. Since paid apps on the android market tend to sell terrible, the only way for a developer to get some revenue for their apps is advertising. Maybe there should be a new permission that can make the distinction between accessing internet, and making actual calls or sending actual sms messages that cost you money.