Invasive APPs

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by HEMDROID, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. HEMDROID
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    HEMDROID New Member

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    I need to ask why (most) apps seem to be so invasive? I dont understand why an app needs to have so much access to personal/private as well as technical "stuff" on my/our phones.
  2. HEMDROID
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    HEMDROID New Member

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    Could it be analytics co's are in the app dev biz????
  3. JayMonster
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    JayMonster New Member

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    What may seem invasive on one hand, may be nothing of the kind, but it may have to do with how the Android SDK works and certain functionality of the application. For example Handcent SMS. You understand of course that it requires access to your contact list, because it needs to be able to pull up your contacts. Obvious... but then it isn't (obviously) clear why it would need the ability to recognize when you are on the phone... but it does, because if you are typing a message, you would expect it to yield to an incoming call, right? Well, then it needs access to those services. And there may be other "privacy" issues because by getting access to that, they are "technically" available to see certain other information (even if they aren't using it). So, anything that it could "possibly" touch, you are made aware of it. So, then you see this long list of items that the application "needs" access to that makes no sense from a high level.

    The warning err on the side of telling you everything, even when the application may not be accessing those functions. Make more sense?

    I could probably explain it better if you gave me an application and the corresponding "rights" it is asking for that you don't understand.
  4. LordKastle
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    LordKastle New Member

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    For the most part no...but I understand your concern. Some apps may trigger some warnings prior to installation because they very well may need to access some settings. Take for example a texting program or other apps that take use of GPS or even have the capabilities to place a call within the program (service finder)...these will all trigger various warnings.

    But caution always must be used. If you are downloading something that has no business accessing various areas then use your discretion and look in to it first. (whether raising awareness on here or elsewhere)
  5. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    Thought for a second someone developed a prostate exam app :icon_eek:

    thank God I was misled....
  6. HEMDROID
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    HEMDROID New Member

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    One in question would be "home++ beta, it accesses, your location, your personal information, network communication, storage, service that cost you money (?), phone calls and system tools. I don't haul a wheelbarrow full of tinfoil around but this just seems a bit much, perhaps there's no reason for concern but in the world of stolen identity, bla bla bla... I think someone could fill us in on what to/not to expect when downloading apps. Oh and I'm sure someone is working on the prostate app this very moment
  7. JayMonster
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    JayMonster New Member

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    Well, this one is quote easy. A Skin has to touch every part of the phone that you can physically see, so it touches thing like the browser (network communications), it has to write files to storage, it will skin your dialer, Market and Messaging application (services that cost you money), phone calls (as I already mentioned, it touches the dialer) and system tools (well, just about everything has to touch the system tools at some point).

    You get this information to be informed, and like I said, it errs on the side of safety to tell you everything that the app "could" touch, so you can choose whether or not you want to download it. Also, if you are concerned, I would simply wait a while before downloading a new app (or update) until others have done so first and take a wait and see to what you install on the phone.
  8. HEMDROID
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    HEMDROID New Member

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  9. qaelith.2112
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    qaelith.2112 New Member

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    I'm bothered by a "Backgrounds" app that I've installed recently. The app, from Stylem Media, wants access to Personal Information, to "read contacts and write contacts". The app's purpose is to present an assortment of background images in various categories and install a background of my choice. Unlike a skin, I can't imagine any reason for a background image installer to need access to my contacts to read, let alone write.

    The app is showing hundreds of thousands of installations, has a 4.5 star rating, and a great many reviews. Some of the reviews (though very few) bring up this point, leaving me wondering whether there is some purpose that I'm failing to consider or whether most people just aren't paying attention to what an app is wanting to do.

    I'm curious whether anyone else has any thoughts on this.
  10. JayMonster
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    JayMonster New Member

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    Bear in mind I am not vouching for Stylem Media or anybody else (unless specifically stated otherwise), but if i am reading the documentation properly (and that is a big if since I am still getting acquainted with Eclipse and the Android SDK... in order to change the Background you need to create an object of type android.provider (also called a Content Provider). Now the subclasses of Android.Provider include MediaStore.Images.Media (which would be where they would get a handle to an image, and also Contacts.People.

    Now whether or not they want to use Contacts.People is it part of the Class that they need for images (android.provider).

    I neither approve nor deride doing it this way, as i am unsure if there is another way by declaring the subclass directly (I'm sure somebody will correct me if it is the case), but that is at least potentially why it would require something as batty as needing "access" to your contacts when just changing the wallpaper.

    But as I said earlier... if you are uncomfortable with that... then don't use it. There are other apps out there, so you can either wait, or try and find something else with terms you are comfortable with.
  11. coolkidd
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    coolkidd New Member

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    Colonoscopy App for Droid! :icon_ banana: Ouch!

    Well, for me, that is why we have the option of installing "unknown sources" or not... me... I prefer to not install "unknown sources" except of course if it has been tested thoroughly...
  12. takeshi
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    takeshi New Member

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    Blackberry users have the same types of concerns with apps as you have to grant permissions to apps when installing them.

    That's a good high level explanation. It's not always readily apparent from the name of the resource that the app is accessing.
  13. bailenforcer
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    bailenforcer New Member

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    I have had several apps say they will use my camera without asking me and turn on the audio and capture without my permission. How can this be of any use when the app has no need of such? Sounds like the Xbox one invasive stupidity with the kinect that almost drove their market share south.

    Frankly I don't need someone capturing video from my nightstand while my woman and I have quality time together, or worse yet the children dressing in their room with their cell phone. Creepy sounding when you have teenage daughters.
  14. MotoXGirl
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    MotoXGirl New Member

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    I think some of it is that developers dont know any better....
  15. bailenforcer
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    bailenforcer New Member

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    Oh they know better. It is the customers, or droid users that don't know any better and accept such apps without taking a look at them. So many people I know have no clue what the disclaimers on these apps say. They just want the app and never read the disclaimers. It borders on insanity, that the same people are screaming, whining, complaining, about the N.S.A. and yet allow this invasion of privacy themselves. Intellectual laziness is the problem.




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