Friday, March 2, 2012

Android OS lets apps access user photos without consent

Just like with apple iOS, Google's Android has been found to give applications access to a user's photo library without explicit permission.  According to The New York Times' Bits, Android applications can read pictures off a phone so long as the user permits the app to use internet connection. This is one of the security issues that Google and Apple is now facing.

For an average person, downloading applications from apps market is just like buying a pair of shoes. The person’s primary concern is the utility of the application. He would not inquire about any privacy issues that go along with the application. This is because most people have no knowledge with this. Secondly, it will be difficult to spot which applications have security issues. Only highly technologically savvy people will have the skill to do this. Average people will just rely on them for advice.

I myself is an Android user. I download a lot of applications without any hesitation. So long as they are in the Android apps market, I assume that they cannot harm me or my phone. I would tend to download and explore a lot of applications and if I think that a certain application has no use to me, I just erase it afterwards. Even though I was able to erase it, in the process, I would not know whether it has already accessed any of my files. This is a legitimate concern that the OS developers need to address.

Google and Apple should have a system that will filter applications to screen out those which may compromise the privacy of the users.  In this way, there won’t come a time that their apps markets will experience damaged confidence from the users.


Adrian Francis S. Bustos, Entry #11

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