Does anything stop an application with Photos/Media/Files and Other ("full network access" and "run at startup") permissions from simply uploading ALL of your photos and videos to some stupid server they control?

Is it access to store and read their own photos/files, or total access to everything on the phone? Does it matter if it's on an SD card or internal storage?

2 Answers 2


If an app has access to your data and the Internet, there's actually nothing to keep it from doing such things indeed. But if it did, it probably won't go unnoticed (as it would use bandwidth for that, someone surely would have noticed). Which is one reason one should prefer apps already used by many people, and from a trustworthy source.

  • Why doesn't Android let you choose which permissions to give an application???
    – User
    Mar 4, 2015 at 3:25
  • That's a speculative question we cannot answer here – while most of us wished it were that way. It even looked as if Google were taking that approach, when "AppOps" was found with 4.3 – but then again that was buried. For alternatives, take a look at my Permission Manager list; but most of them will require your device to be rooted.
    – Izzy
    Mar 4, 2015 at 7:09
  • Yep, it was more of a complaint than a question.
    – User
    Mar 5, 2015 at 5:54
  • Granular permissions management will be introduced in Android M. For those of us stuck with Android L and below, privacy issues are indeed a concern. Even apps with hundreds and thousands of downloads may not be trustable! No one takes time to audit everything. Bandwidth usage isn't a good guide unfortunately. Just be careful.
    – Kevin Lee
    Aug 25, 2015 at 15:44
  • Btw, the photos media and files permission group should apply to both internal storage and the external SD card. Note that a portion of the storage is private no matter what, e.g. every app has its private folder due to app sandboxing. It's up to the developer on how they use the private or public folders. Photos are stored in a public folder.
    – Kevin Lee
    Aug 25, 2015 at 15:53

If your device is Android version 4.3 and 4.4 or above, Google introduced AppOps application permission manager functionality,You can control the way an app can access specific permissions like Internet,File read or write,Read gps locations,etc.

Just goto Setting>Security and enable App permission.So each and everytime an application tries to access anything specified in its permission.And notification will be shown asking you to confirm access or jz deny it.

Hope it answered the question.

  • I have Android 4.4.4 but I can't find anything like that under Security.
    – User
    Mar 4, 2015 at 3:24
  • Jz look out one more time.In phone settings not google settings.Then go to security there is an option called "App Permissions" Jz click the button along with that option to enable.
    – ShihabSoft
    Mar 4, 2015 at 5:07
  • @ShihabSoft That AppOps interface has never been official. It was a hidden activity when found first with 4.3, got harder to unveil with 4.4, and AFAIK finally disappeared again altogether. There are several apps which can make it visible (see my Permission Manager list), but those are often depending on specific Android versions (due to the fact described before).
    – Izzy
    Mar 4, 2015 at 7:12
  • So if I root my phone I can do this? Android 4.4.4
    – User
    Mar 5, 2015 at 6:05
  • @Perce Definitely – with more than one app from the list I've linked. I do so for years already, forbidding apps access to location, contacts, and more.
    – Izzy
    Mar 5, 2015 at 7:39

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