Apps asking for access to photos




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Those are just insights, the kind that make marketers froth, but there are the clear overreaches in app, too: Sometimes they come with explanations; in fact, the app platforms encourage this. But these can be short or vague. Apple and Google run the app ecosystems and establish the app permissions guidelines.


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Or, maybe not to get it. Both iOS and Android app permissions have evolved as the app stores have. Three years ago, with the rollout of Android 6. That same Android update let users manage each permission individually rather than lumping them all together.

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Android 7. Apple in general has been much more stringent than Google has been with app developers. As with Android, you can control iOS permissions both in privacy settings and at the app level. It also started cracking down down on location permissions: The TL;DR is that app makers are able to keep the data you shared beforehand, when you did grant permission, provided they comply with data protection and other privacy laws in their countries.

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Why mobile apps require access to your data and device tools

Why do millions of raindrops only make one rainbow? Why is gold rare? Apps know your exact location at any given point, your house number, restaurants and cinema halls you frequent, and your email account details. Think this is not what you signed up for? This could include permissions to access to your text messages, phone call details, media files, etc. Apps need access to specified content on your phone to fulfil their functionality—a picture-editing app will require access to your phone camera and media files to be able to edit pictures saved in your phone or to take a new picture that it can edit—but several are likely unnecessary.

Skipping over these permissions could mean handing over your data to an oblivious app developer or unscrupulous data miners. Letting apps access more data on your phone than required could lead to security risks and expose your personal information. Almost all mobile apps transmit and receive data between phones and remote servers.

It has never been more crucial to understand the risks involved in giving mobile apps indiscriminate access to your data and device tools, given that India is the second-biggest market for smartphones after China.

How to control your app permissions

As per a recent report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the country will have added 65 million new mobile internet users in just the six months to June By then, India will have million people accessing the internet on their mobile phones, it says. A lot of that internet use will be through mobile applications designed for activities such as shopping, keeping up with friends, watching videos, gaming or paying electricity bills.


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  • App Permissions Don't Tell Us Nearly Enough About Our Apps.

The key lies in identifying the nature of the app and questioning what seem to be unnecessary requests. A chat app can ask for access to pictures or media files so you are able to share those with your contacts.

applications - Is it safe to allow apps to access your photos? - Ask Different

But you should be wary if it asks to know your location. A gaming app will want to know when you get a phone call so it can pause.

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But a gaming app requesting access to your text messages or location should raise a red flag. Some well-known brands, too, have poorly coded apps that end up compromising on security, he said. This is most likely to happen on public Wi-Fi hotspots like those at airports, malls or coffee shops. Apps often have permission to create and save files in various locations on your devices, some of which are retained even after the apps are uninstalled.

A game app that you uninstalled could have retained images in your phone gallery.

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Another app that also has access to your gallery can now access those images. A lot of this unnecessary access requirement also has to do with how apps are built and monetized. To make money out of apps, companies often integrate third-party libraries that allow these external entities to push ads and other content on their apps. Several mobile app developers reuse software libraries from third-party entities to support the functionality they need. For example, a photo app or a mobile wallet app that stores user data on a remote server, or cloud, uses pre-written bits of codes by cloud storage providers like Dropbox.

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