Have you every gone to the app store and just installed something on there because it looks good and something you want to look at, or purchased a product and then installed the app without thinking or checking it out first? Lots of people do, but do they really know what is going on under the covers?
How often do you install an application onto your personal device without checking the permissions that it requires or know what the app has access to and what its doing?
These are relevant questions that we should be asking ourselves as we become more connected and joined together sharing our personal data. This is a subject that I have written about before on app permissions and is still relevant today.
I have recently been asked to look at a fitness braclet that someone had who wanted to install the app. What struck me about this app that basically allows you to control a basic fitness tracker was the permissions to allow access to the Camera and Microphone, when there is clearly no reason within the product or app to have them. Is this a lazy programmer who hasnt set the right permissions on the app or is there something else going on.
One of the great things I like about mobile devices now is the ability to actually turn these off myself.
- Android: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/6270602
- Apple: https://www.howtogeek.com/211623/how-to-manage-app-permissions-on-your-iphone-or-ipad/
So do I want my coffee app to know where I am all the time, maybe not, but I do know that it may need access to the storage to download the latest offers and store those discount vouchers.
Of course stopping a permission may cause application issues, however the important thing is that a user can say no.
So when was the last time you checked the apps installed on your device and their permissions?