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I use ColorNote quite a bit and I sometimes write personal things. Does ColorNote secretly spy on me, like send those notes somewhere over the Internet without my permission? I don't have any particular reason to suspect it, I am just asking. Is there a way to be sure or are we at the mercy of the app developers?

Thanks.

  • you can see ColorNote app's permissions . But just looking at the permission don't conclude if it sends data to some secret place. And hence, as you said, we are at the mercy of the app developers – AADAndroidEnthusiasts Jun 26 '15 at 3:37
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Does ColorNote secretly spy on me, like send those notes somewhere over the Internet without my permission?

Just to make things clear, when you install an app from Play Store or by tap and install you yourself agree to accept the permissions it demands including Full Network Access. So, this point of the app using Internet without my permission shouldn't arise, unless Android has native permission control/restrict system and app still violates it somehow.

Besides, those notes are part of the app too. It can exchange data on Internet if it is eligible and wants to, and I see nothing bad to do so at least for a closed source app!

Anyhow, the first thing before asking about spying is to check app's demanded permissions.

  • If you have the app installed then go to Settings -> your app and see the permissions there.
  • If you don't have the app installed then launch Play Store -> go to app -> and see Permissions. You can also use Web browser for the same.

See permissions related to Network/Wi-Fi and be warned (if it exists) from that time that the app may connect to Internet for something (mostly to fetch ads).

Besides, ColorNote has Privacy Policy which speaks of using your data for their business including sharing it with third-parties. Best to take a look if you're really concerned.

Is there a way to be sure or are we at the mercy of the app developers?

The defense against a closed-source software is to trust it and believe that it won't do anything bad. But much better is to use a Firewall, or not to let it connect to Internet at all.

You may also monitor network activities of the app and see the amount of data exchanged (you may see on-the-fly passing data if it's not encrypted).

If the app is open-source, then you may at least hire a code reviewer if you can't understand code. User reviews helps here better compared to closed-source apps.


Over and all, don't think much about spying and similar things unless your ROM is open-source and its code review passed as safe. Be wary of critical and big things first.

  • Oh firelord, you do have a way with things! – Abhioxic Jun 19 '15 at 15:30
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All apps on Google Play has a Privacy Policy at the end of description.

Privacy Policy contains all the information about What they collect and How they use it in a Legal language.

This Privacy Policy provides our policies and procedures for collecting, using, and disclosing your information.

Yes, disclosing your information.

Your Data. We collect and store data you upload, download, or access with the Service ("Data").

Bow against the Dev.il or he will disclose IT ALL!!

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.

No. Just kidding.

Non-Private or Non-Personal Information. We may disclose your non-private, aggregated, or otherwise non-personal information, such as usage statistics of our Service.

Dont worry, out of thousands of users from around the Globe, I dont think the dev has time to spy on you. And talk about that girls number either.

Anyways Unless you have nulear codes on your droid, no need to worry about it.

Kudos. Btw, i cant say anything about NSA
Please read this: What topics can I ask about here?

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