Watch out Permissions

Par SwissTengu @SwissTengu @SwissTengu — 25.03.2014
The permissions. You know, the stuff nobody really reads. The stuff you just accept, like the EULA and other boring contracts.

But, in fact, you really should read them. They should make you think twice when you're installing some stuff. For example, why should a game get access to your phone identity? Or your contacts?

Fact is, developers and editors will convince you they really need those accesses: "it will help us to debug the app if you get problems", "easy support", "help you comparing your score with your contacts" and so on.
How nice. How innocent. But, really, do you believe them? Do you really think the phone IMEI is really needed in order to improve the application?

This becomes even more interesting when you deal with public services app. In Switzerland at least, they are all closed. Unavailable outside official app stores, and requiring a lot of weird access, as this one for example.

Hopefully, some Android alternative ROMs offer the possibility to set up permission after the app installation. For example, Slimroms allows you to set either system or user apps permission. Problem is: this may be set up only after the app installation, meaning it may send out information without your consent before you lock them down.

Permissions is the only (easy) way you may prevent unauthorized access to your data — current systems don't allow you to chose what you really want to allow at the installation. This is why you really should consider reading and understand them before you click "install".
Of course, all devs and editors aren't bad guys. But in the current situation, WHO do you want to trust? WHO deserve to be trusted? Not so many people I think. You may as well sign some pact with the Devil instead of accepting without a glance the permissions we want to force.

The only acceptable solution would be:
- at least allow to disallow permissions at the installation time (with some warning letting you know/understand this may break some part of the app)
- at least, explain WHY the app needs those rights.

Some already do explain the rights they need. This should be the case for all of the existing app.

Maybe, if everybody reads the permissions, and just act with intelligence, asking "why the hell do they need this?!" to the right person, this will change. It has to change. Nobody can be trusted, and they still try to get more and more information on you.

Raise up people, spread the word, don't accept the current situation! Because it is unacceptable.