Download Android app, give away your body, mind and soul?

January 28, 2012

I was looking to download one of those flashlight apps for an Android phone. I have one on the iPhone.

Found some free ones. So, I hit the download or install button and then looked at the permissions that this app requires or is given. What! It wants to read my phone number, look in my contacts list, make internet connections, look at my school records, review my medical charts, do a rectal exam, interview my neighbors, cop a feel, practice root canal, withdraw from my meager savings, take out a second mortgage, and also, but not the last, peer into my soul and decide if I deserve Moksha or must burn for eternity in some exoteric religious hell.

Ah, no thanks. I’ll just go buy another real flashlight.

The Android market as a whole needs to address this. Or don’t. Just do what Microsoft, Apple, and every other company does, don’t talk about it; don’t even mention permissions. Shhhhh. All apps are dangerous. Secret, its between you and me.

What you expect the User to install VPN, Firewalls, Antivirus, Virtual Machines, etc. Ain’t gonna happen. Besides, security and privacy are partially a human behavior and marketing issue. Lack of privacy is profiting someone somewhere.

Updates
Funny I wrote this and later read about what Google is doing to combat malware. Synchronicity perhaps.

2012-Mar-9: My Samsung Note phablet came with a paltry set of ringtones, unlike the iPhone. Went to Android Market for some. Yup, a ringtone app wants access to everything! Just while viewing the reviews on one of the free ones, I felt a tug on my wallet. What gives? Its a ringtone, sounds, you need to access my contacts, phone, yada, yada, yada…….

Further reading


Tony Bennett – Body and Soul


Coleman Hawkins – Body & Soul


Bill Evans trio + Toots Thielemans – Body & Soul


Email addresses should be more securely handled

April 4, 2011

Email addresses are entered in the clear, passed around, and even used for identification. Yet, these are not subject to many security concerns that other items such as user name and passwords. Why not?

They should be. Not only are email addresses identifiable pieces of one’s profile on any network, they are also attack vectors for nefarious schemes, smut, spam, and just plain nuisance. Yet, people don’t treat email addresses as that important.

Did you ever get a joke email sent to you about some amusing web page or You Tube video and on the cc address there were hundreds of other people’s email address? What is up with that? If you tell people that this is unwise or to just use bcc addresses, you get a blank stare (from even technical people).

I just got an email from a company telling me that their email provider’s database was compromised. They say that only the email addresses were stolen (yea, I believe that).

Yes, email addresses are valuable and should be treated as such.

Further Reading
Email Privacy Concerns
Users Still Careless With Email


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