Google gets snarky with app permissions


I was trying to find an exercise app the other day and eventually decided on one that required minimal permissions -- in particular, full Internet access wasn't listed.  After installing the app, I was surprised to see ads.  I dug a little deeper and found this snarky update from Google:

Note: These days, apps typically access the Internet, so network communication permissions including the “full Internet access” permission have been moved out of the primary permissions screen.
What?!  Are you serious?!  One of the most potentially dangerous permissions is no longer even listed when installing Android apps?  It's like Google is giving a green light to every malware/backdoor/stalker/advertiser slimeball developer.  Lame!

I mean seriously, if I wanted NSA to know my every move I'd just install the Moves app or wear those disturbing fitness wristbands and be done with it.

An additional legalese clause is even more sinister:
Once you’ve allowed an app to access a permissions group, the app may use any of the individual permissions that are part of that group.
When an app updates, it may need to use additional capabilities or information controlled by permissions.
If you have automatic updates enabled, you won't need to review or accept these permissions as long as they are included in a permissions group you already accepted for that app.

In other words, if I allow full Internet access (that's now stupidly grouped in the generic Other group) for an app that legitimately needs it, I've now implicitly given the app owner permission to write to my Google+ account (among many "other" vague things):

Double lame! (and misleading, unethical, and possibly illegal)

Google, you can keep your "simplified permissions" -- give me back my privacy control!


In addition to already disabling auto-update, it looks like I'll need to manually check the full permissions from now on.




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