For instance, Spotify recently had a policy change that was up for discussion, because it asked to have access to contacts and photos with no explanation as to why a music-streaming app would need all of that! According to Peter Sayer, a recent study showed that Facebook recorded a subject's location "more than once per minute" over the period of the study. While these invasions are not necessary for the apps to function, they did not use the information collected against the user. Malicious apps should be taken more seriously, because they may use things like location to exploit your whereabouts, or use the access to your SMS to send unlawful or costly messages, or use your contact information to target people you know! While well known apps aren't known for doing any of this, they are still doing more in the background than necessary, causing your phone battery to die more quickly, you to get bombarded with more personalized ads, and other things that are not harming you or your privacy, but are also not to your advantage.
James Kendrick--referring to Twitter--explains that "unless an app is questionable...we are all just going to approve any permissions it asks for". So far, this is okay because well-known apps have not done anything to mislead us. However, when an app updates, or if you are installing a trusted app for the first time, your privacy can become compromised by the app that was once trustworthy.
The good news is that we as users are always made aware of terms and privacy policies, and we must agree to permit apps to access the data that is so dear to us. However, that is where we, as the user, must read and distinguish whether it is necessary that an app have permission to access one thing or the other, instead of accepting everything that pops up in order to download something quicker. Every user and developer will have a different perspective on what is too invasive and what they think is helpful in personalizing an app, so leave a comment below to tell me what you think about what permissions are too extreme!
Creepy permissions for Android apps. (2013, January 24). In L. Spector (Author). Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025055/answer-line-creepy-permissions-for-android-apps.html
Kendrick, J. (2012, February 16). App permissions: We are our worst enemy. Retrieved February 21, 2016, from http://www.zdnet.com/article/sandisk-connect-skip-the-apple-storage-tax/
Ogul, M., Baktir, S., & Tatli, E. I. (2014). Abused Android Permissions by Advertising Networks. 2014 International Conference on IT Convergence and Security (ICITCS), 1-4.
Sayer, P. (2014, December 15). Android apps exploit permissions to access personal info, researchers find. Retrieved February 21, 2016, from http://www.infoworld.com/article/2859565/mobile-technology/android-apps-exploit-permissions-to-access-personal-info-researchers-find.html