That’s right, no one. We often regard the app permissions pop-up as another one of these simplified ‘terms and conditions’ pages that we always skip and rush to get to the ‘Ok, I accept’ part. Due to this, we are never aware of our so-called ‘contract’ with all the apps we use. They definitely have permissions just for the sake of having them. So, what are we missing by never paying attention to what parts of our devices our apps have access to? Well, instead of us being able to monitor our apps, they monitor us. It sounds like the plotline of a mystery murder story, but it’s our reality.
Apps Ask for Permissions for a Reason
Does an app like Facebook really need to be able to access your call information in order to provide you with a good user experience? Definitely not, but it’s a permission that they require to have from those downloading their app. So why is that? It’s not a necessary permission and yet they still ask for it. Of course, facebook isn’t the only one that asks for your privacy in exchange for being able to use their app. When confronted, Uber was the only one that commented. A spokesperson stated that users can turn off certain permissions in the app’s settings. Of the companies asked, only Uber explained why different types of data are collected from users. Others refused to comment, which means that they are definitely hiding something from users. And it doesn’t take an IT expert to realize that being able to connect and disconnect WiFi isn’t what Facebook was created for. Well-known apps aren’t the only ones that ask for an extensive list of permissions before you’re allowed to download them. Little known calculator or timer apps may ask for so many permissions that you’ll start to wonder if their main purpose is to take over your phone.
Why are App Permissions Necessary?
Originally, these were created so that users know what parts of their device apps need access to in order to be able to function properly. However, how would this explain flashlight apps that want access to your contacts and call information? These permissions would be justifiable if it was a calling app of sorts, but for a flashlight? It makes one suspect that the flashlights main purpose is to spy on you and maybe that is the case. Ideally, you should only download apps who ask for permissions that are related to their service provided. It would make perfect sense for Google Maps to ask to have access to your exact location since it helps them to tailor their services for you. Not so much for a game app. However, if you only download apps with permission requests that you can understand, you’ll miss out on all the current trends, like Facebook and Whatsapp.
Protect Yourself and Fight Back