The access that apps advertise that they need to function. Example: Full internet access, send SMS messages, etc. Please use this tag for app-permissions only. For file permissions, use 'file-permissions' instead.

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71
votes
11answers
4k views

Is it possible to install an app and exclude some of its requested permissions?

Occasionally I want to install an application which requires certain permissions that I feel it really shouldn't need. Can I install the app without giving it these permissions? For example, GPS ...
68
votes
5answers
41k views

Why do so many applications require permission to read the phone state and identity?

Why do so many applications require permission to read the phone state and identity?. Specifically: Phone calls read phone state and identity For example Quickpedia is a Wikipedia portal, but ...
45
votes
10answers
12k views

How to search the Play Store by permissions?

How do I specify that I do not wish to see apps that require for example internet access? Or to only show apps that use a specific permission? A specific repository with search on its webpage? An app ...
38
votes
13answers
9k views

Are there any tools to sandbox a malware application even more than the granted permissions on Android?

Suppose I want to run some program which requests too many permissions. For example, record from the microphone or read IMEI of my phone. However, there are no practical explanation why recording from ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

Audit app permissions easily in one place?

Is there anyway to list all the applications installed on your phone and the permissions they require all on one page, or export the list so it can easily be audited?
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a way to know the actual permissions of an app now before installing?

I'm not a fan of the current so-called "simplified" permissions in the Play store, and would like a way to check the exact permissions of an app before installing. This need not be a tool that does ...
22
votes
1answer
10k views

Why does the new Chrome update want the permission to use my camera and audio recording?

Seriously, it specifically states that it can use the camera and audio recording any time it wants, whether or not I wish it to. Why is Chrome on Android requesting those permissions? Should I be ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do some apps with no internet features require internet access?

A couple of apps I've installed or considered say they require internet access even though they have no obvious internet features. One of the most surprising ones was a simple compass app. Why is ...
18
votes
3answers
13k views

What can an app do with the “USE ACCOUNTS ON THE DEVICE” permission?

Can such an app freely read my emails/calendar/message/docs/etc.? The "USE ACCOUNTS ON THE DEVICE" permission is also known for developers as android.permission.USE_CREDENTIALS. Example of such ...
18
votes
2answers
8k views

What do Android application permissions mean?

When installing an application, the application lists permissions that it needs to perform its functions. I am creating this list of the the system defined permissions and a description of what ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

What does permission “MANAGE_ACCOUNTS” mean?

Once in a while I read that MANAGE_ACCOUNTS Permission is needed (actually it is called "KONTEN HINZUFÜGEN ODER ENTFERNEN" as I have a German phone. I guess the text below is something like "Add or ...
11
votes
2answers
13k views

How to enable selective app permissions on CyanogenMod?

One of the big reasons I installed CyanogenMod (10.1 latest Monthly) was to be able to have the ability to selectively deny apps certain permissions (most importantly the network and device ID ones). ...
10
votes
2answers
555 views

Is there a list that explains the risks involved with each granted application permission type?

Usually an installed android app will request permissions such as Phone calls read phone state and identity or System tools prevent phone from sleeping But the actual consequences from a ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Archive SMS messages, without extra permissions

Answers to the following question list a number of Android apps that can be used to backup SMS messages: How do I backup and restore SMS Messages? However, all of the applications mentioned in the ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Can the RECEIVE_SMS permission be used to intercept SMS messages?

I've noticed quite a few apps requesting the RECEIVE_SMS permission. Two things are clear to me here: RECEIVE_SMS enables an app to "snap" incoming SMS READ_SMS just applies to SMS already stored ...
9
votes
2answers
13k views

Workaround for Android 4.4 not being able to write to SD cards?

Yesterday I upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S4 to Android 4.4 KitKat and had the bad surprise that it cannot write to my SD card anymore... I know this problem is widely documented everywhere, but has any ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Other apps to manage permissions?

I used to use - and loved - LBE Privacy Guard which allowed you to revoke specific permissions from specific apps. Ever since AT&T finally pushed out Jelly Bean for the S3 though, it no longer ...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

I changed my sim card - how do I find which app is sending sms messages to my old number?

I recently traveled to another country and I'm using a local prepaid sim card on my Galaxy S2. My prepaid credit was depleted rather quickly, and when I checked the phone record I found out my phone ...
8
votes
3answers
20k views

What does the “modify/delete USB storage contents” permission really mean?

What does the modify/delete USB storage contents permission really mean? Does it grant access for the application to read, modify and write all the data on my USB storage? Maybe it is this only ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Do the apps that require a full internet access override android network settings?

You all know that some apps require "full internet access', and other permissions. Some use it for ads, some use it for other reasons, etc. So, can these apps access the internet when my wifi network ...
8
votes
3answers
250 views

Is there a service that rates app security/permissions?

Is there a service/company/app that vets Android apps and reports on their "trustworthiness"? I recently moved from Blackberry to a Galaxy S2 which does not have an LED indicator light. I searched ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Better description of permissions

Is there a list of permissions with more detailed descriptions available? The standard ones doesn't feel good, and I don't trust developers who write that they need permission X only to do Y--if their ...
8
votes
1answer
947 views

Google play store does not show all persmissions at app install

So recently, I was searching for a news app that needs few permissions as possible. I found an app called Flipboard. Google play said I need to allow the following: Identity Photos/Media/Files ...
7
votes
3answers
597 views

How do permissions work in the Android Market?

I've been told that the permissions for an app are there to inform me the types of things the app has permission to do. If this is right, can a developer 'forget' a permission and get away with using ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Can my Android phone be hacked without installing permissions?

After reading this article ( Kaspersky smartphone report ) this got me wondering. Obviously if I install a dodgy app through Play Store or directly from a website, that can be dangerous, however if I ...
7
votes
3answers
339 views

Protection from Malicious Intent

Is there an app, or will Google produce a system, where I can protect my Android device? Imagine a soundboard app that's free, but it asks for your contact information. The average user might be ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Read APK permission by shell command

I want to read the requested permissions of an .apk file on the computer (android sdk is installed) via command line. I.E.: $ android read-permissions /path/to/someapp.apk I know this is possible, ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Deauthorize an app

I installed MightyText the other day. But I haven't used it so I uninstalled it. Then I remembered it required links to my Google account - so I went to Google Account security. But it doesn't list ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

Revoke App Permissions Without Root?

I have some apps that are asking for unnecessary permissions. I would like to revoke these, but I've read that this is not possible without rooting. Is there any way to do this without having to ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does Google Search suddenly need a lot more permissions?

I obviously have Google Search installed on my stock Nexus 4, however, a recent update for this app appears to require no less than 11 new permissions. Google does not appear to give any explanation ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

What does Skype use all those permissions for?

I'd like to know what Skype does with all the permissions it asks for. Is there any page where Skype (the company) justifies the various permissions? Does it make any difference, whether I'm a ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What does “discover known accounts” permission mean?

I am not sure what an app can do to me if it is able to discover my account, to what extent? Thank you very much.
6
votes
2answers
488 views

Are applications from “Unknown Sources” restricted by permissions?

I know that Google Play applications cannot do anything that is not spelled out in their AndroidManifest.xml and will be blocked from doing so. I want to know if non-Google Play applications are ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Determine app sending SMS Premium messages

I normally have "Block Premium Messaging" set up on the phones in my family. This is a verizon content block the prevents you (or family members) from sending messages to premium services that charge. ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why can apps access the whole SD card?

Is there a technical reason for why apps that only need their own data are not limited to one folder? I do realise that some apps use other apps' data, but I'd be much more likely to install an app ...
6
votes
1answer
252 views

What is the Android Permission “WRITE_GSERVICES” doing?

There is a mysterious and undocumented Android Permission called: WRITE_GSERVICES. As usual Googles own documentation is even more mysterious than any bad fairytale, writing: ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

how to fake my personal information

I downloaded a game from Google Play. In the permission page, I noticed that it asks for my personal information. Allow this application to: Your personal information read sensitive log data. Why ...
6
votes
1answer
490 views

Can Applications With Root Access Modify Their Own Permissions?

For rooted phones, there are several apps which require root privileges. Knowing this, the user does allow the app to get root. Now, the app would have been installed with a set of x permissions, say ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there an Android calendar with limited security permissions?

I've just bought an entry-level Samsung Europa, running version 2.2. I'm technically-minded but new to this OS. I'd like to find a calendar that runs in limited security permissions, so that my ...
6
votes
1answer
981 views

Why can't I use su to run under another app's permissions?

It's well-known that every Android app is its own user. I have Android Terminal Emulator installed as user u0_a5. u0_a5@android:/ $ whoami u0_a5 u0_a5@android:/ $ groups u0_a5 sdcard_rw sdcard_r ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does controlling CPU frequency require root access?

According to this answer one of the programs that requires root access is SetCPU that can lower the CPU frequency when the phone is not used thus prolong battery life. I don't get one thing - why ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

Help understanding Whatsapp's permissions

Whatsapp has been nagging me for the past few days that I have to upgrade it to continue using it. With the Facebook acquisition and the Play Store no longer marking the permissions that are "NEW" ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I withdraw an app rights to enter internet in CyanogenMod?

On a rooted device it should be possible to forbid certain apps to contact internet connection How is this possible in CyanogenMod 10.0?
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Preventing installed apps from making calls or sending SMS

It seems like a growing number of (seemingly legitimate) apps casually claim the "Services that cost you money" permissions (making calls and sending SMS) for non-essential secondary features that ...
5
votes
2answers
13k views

How do I install an apk as a system application?

I'm trying to install an application in the system/app folder of a device. It needs to be done since I'm writing a QAT program and the tests need to run with a few privileges not available to third ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does google always need personal data? Its Annoying [closed]

Whenever there is an app from Google Inc in the Android market, I am uncomfortable with their permission levels: Why do they always need read/write permissions to personal data/contacts and all our ...
4
votes
2answers
331 views

Questions About Android Privacy

The permissions warning in the Android Market is very vague. As well, I can't see the app permissions in a collective area of all the apps I have previously installed. So, I have no clue whether an ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

What are potential problems/violations that malware apps can do?

There are some apps that I am considering to download which have many permission requirements and have few comments from other past users. The number of downloads are relatively low so I am ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Read phone state and identity

I've looked at many (not all) of the dozens of links here. Is there a list that explains the risks involved with each granted application permission type? Most of these are not worth the time to ...
4
votes
2answers
291 views

Is there a facebook app that does not read your location?

I've looked at a number of facebook apps, and it seems that they require permission to read my precise location. This includes Stream, Fast, Friendcaster, and the official facebook app. Can anyone ...