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

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

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

  1. Alex says:

    Your are right, but sometimes is most like an copy and paste issue.
    I mean the developer copy a manifest.xml for your app, and do not care about the required permissione written in there.

    • josefB says:

      Alex:

      I suspected that that could be the case in many situations. In the Java developer world, for example, very few developers pay attention to the Java application permissions; it’s just supposed to work. In mobile world, one would just accept the SDK defaults and just get ‘it’ to work.

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