Why You Should Not Agree For All App Permissions?

June 1, 2022, 10:36 am | Updated June 6, 2023, 10:55 am IST
Why You Should Not Agree For All App Permissions?
Right to privacy is accepted to be one of the fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India (Right to life and personal liberty). But in this digital era where something like Metaverse exhilarates people, cyber crimes are also a reality. With the rising threat from app permissions in android and other operating systems, does the right to privacy get thrown out of the window? Find out why you should not agree for all app permissions in the blog below.
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When you show someone a pic in your phone and they start swiping through your phone gallery!! Annoying moment…right? You are annoyed because all of it is your personal space. Then why do you allow in-app access while downloading a new application on your phone? Privacy threat from app permissions in android or other devices is not something new to know about. Although it is a lot of technical stuff, knowing why you should not agree for all app permissions may give some motivation to stay updated with the minor vigilance which may help save all the personal data.


Why do Apps Need so Many Permissions?

When you download an application on your electronic devices (For example, smartphones, tablets, etc.), the application may ask for certain permissions just after opening. All these permission pop-ups are nothing but user agreement by the makers of applications which require user’s consent before using certain smartphone features. The main objective is to let the user know what features might be used in order to use the application effectively. For example, if you are using Whatsapp, you may need to give access to your contacts for sync, access to a gallery for sharing any media with another contact, camera and microphone access for making audio or video calls, etc. If you deny android app permissions, you may not be able to use particular features. It may also include the inability to use certain apps due to select media permission settings. Hence, in order to run properly and to have full use of all the in-app features, apps need so many permissions in order to comply with the privacy laws over the internet.

What Permissions do Apps Really Need?

It is understandable that the main objective of android app permissions is to safeguard the user privacy and give limited and informed access to the application server in the user’s device. If an application has to open the camera features, it has to seek user’s permission to allow access to the smartphone camera. If you download a call recording application, access to microphone and storage space for the same is required. 

To save your own personal data is why you should not agree to all app permissions. Given below are the usual android app permissions sought by:

  • Camera access - Photo/ Video Editor, social media apps (for sharing media) like Snapchat, Beautycam, Whatsapp, Instagram, etc.
  • Access to Contacts - Social media communication apps like Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
  • Body sensors permissions - Apps to count steps, physical activity, etc. like Google Fit.
  • Microphone - Call recording or audio recording applications, for example, ACR, RMC, Whatsapp, etc.
  • Calendar access - Most of the applications need access to the calendar for updates.
  • GPS location - Taxi apps, food delivery apps, etc. like Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, Uber, etc.
  • Access to make calls - Apps like Truecaller, Whatsapp which use contact numbers for making calls.
  • Access to messages - Usually apps requiring OTP seek this permit like banking apps, Ola, Uber, etc.
  • Storage space permissions - Photo editing apps, social media apps wherever information in the form of media has to be saved.


However, sometimes there may be some instance whereby the android app permissions list includes access to such features which are not actually required for running the whole application or any of the particular functions. For example, if a call recording application seeks access to your media gallery, the same is not required per se. Hence, based on the required or assessed use of any particular features, one should know “what app permissions should I allow?” If there is a photo editing application which seeks your phone’s location, you should deny access.


What App Permissions Should I Avoid?

If you are looking for app permissions to avoid, you should first understand the essence of permission sought for. If an in-app permission pop-up asks for access to a feature which is not going to prove useful, do not allow access to the same. Assessing threat from app permissions in android may save from a lot of unwanted trouble. The context behind “what is the importance of setting up permission in app development” can be understood from someone whose personal data has been used by some unauthorised person. If you are someone who becomes the victim of some financial fraud or data leak due to misuse of android app permissions, a cyber crime lawyer may save the interests.


Which App Permission is the Most Risky?

A user’s most important data in the smartphone or other electronic device is personal information usually in the form of images in the gallery and financial information like bank account numbers, OTPs, CVV, etc. Sometimes, even if you are vigilant enough not to give any in-app access, someone may prompt you to download such applications through which they may fraudulently access important information. The answer to “which app permission is the most risky?” lies with the information which is at stake. Given below are some of the applications through which one may use another person’s device.

  • AnyDesk
  • TeamViewer
  • AirDroid
  • APK

Through the above mentioned applications, instances have come to light where a victim ends up asking some fraudulent person for advice against a minor financial fraud or alike. This fraudulent person asks you to download one of the above applications, asks you to share all the required pass-codes to access your devices. They may also ask the victim to share personal information like passwords or one time passwords (OTP). In such cases, one’s finances are at stake, and that too with android app permissions shared with another person recklessly. Without any delay, searching for how to register complaint in cyber cell may help out with legal security procedure.

Another instance has come into light where some people received calls whereby the caller used name and shame tricks against one of their contacts who apparently defaulted on a loan in the said banking company. The loan defaulter must have downloaded the online application unknowingly entrusting the same with contact access. The person may be actually going through tough times but since contact access is given, the creditor uses the same against user’s interests by calling their contacts publicizing the loan default. 


In the technology dependent world where people do not leave their smartphones behind for a minute, the android app permissions list is the last thing someone gives a damn about. But when someone gets to hear that a neighbouring country might be tracing your information, everyone gets a panic attack. Prevention is always better than cure. Knowing which app permission is the most risky may save a lot of time and energy from any data threat from app permissions in android. 

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