Usually most of us do not care about the permissions requested by an Android app while installing it in on our device. At the most we may judge an app based on number of downloads, rating ,look and feel and usability.
One of the classic example for misuse of permissions is permission for Live Wall Papers. Literally Android Live Wall Papers does not requires any special permission. But if you look at some of the most popular Live Wall Papers in Indian Play Store Market, you will know what I am talking about. The below are some the screen shots of various Live Wall Papers in play store.
Ordinary Live Wall Paper looking for Phone’s identity
An App looking for Virtually all available permissions
One of the Popular Android Live Wall Paper with more than 10 million downloads is not expecting any permissions from the user !!!
Permission to Access Internet for a free app is acceptable for showing Ads, as the developer has spent his time and effort to bring in the App, he is supposed to reap the benefit of it. But using God’s name and National Symbols as a bait for Live Wall Paper and gaining access to personal information of user is not that good.
Beware of these apps and be sure to get away from these apps. So, how do we find out that a particular permission is required or not ? You need not to be an Android developer or an Android Guru to decide about the permission. Simple logical thinking will do. The below are the key points that you should be aware of
1. If any of the application requests permission for your phone’s identity, your location, contact details, installed Apps list, browser history then you have to decide if you really need that application or not, unless the application you are downloading is specifically meant for that kind of activities. But a Live Wallpaper or a eBook reader or most of the apps does not really need this permissions
2. Don’t fall a prey to national, regional or religious sentiments while selecting an App. Almost most of these kind of apps are out there in the Market with unnecessary permission that is not really required for the normal functioning of the app. The App developers are using people’s sentiments as a bait to harvest information.
3. Check for the justification of permissions in the description of the App. Most of the developers do this if they also care about the end users
It’s the consumer or the end user who decides the fate of an app. If the end user is aware of the basic permissions and its impact, then the developers has to change their way of approach and has to deliver what an end user is expecting. Start neglecting these kind of the apps and be secure.