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I see Fruit Ninja recently added "Wi-Fi connection information" to its ever-growing list of required permissions. I read the little description, but what does it actually mean? Does that mean the name and password to my router are being sent back to their Mothership?

  • Is it just me, or is this the final straw for others to uninstall this app? Sure, it's a fun game, but the required permissions never end... – Eliezer Aug 13 '15 at 17:22
  • It's not just you. If I need an app, I always compare what similar apps request, and what seems really needed. If it gets too extensive, I tend to pick a more permission-friendly app even if it has a lower rating. It's good to be sceptical in this context: better safe than sorry, and especially in the "ad-supported app market" abuse risk is not low. – Izzy Aug 13 '15 at 19:16
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The password is unlikely to be touched by this. For a few additional details, see e.g. ACCESS_WIFI_STATE:

This could be requested by any application that uses internet access. The application may check the state of your connection before trying to access the internet. It's comparable to ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE, just for WiFi.

Following up the reference:

Allows applications to access information about networks, including if a network is available (or just connecting), what type of network the device is connected to, if any (WiFi, 3G, LTE), if it's in Roaming, and also reasons for a failed connection attempt (if any).
Good use: The application may check the state of your connection before trying to access the internet, and e.g. restrict itself to WiFi for some actions.
Bad use: Only in combination with other permissions (e.g. data collection for profiling).

So summed up, this would see things like

  • whether WiFi is active (if inactive, nothing else)
  • which network is connected (SSID, MAC)
  • which networks are available (SSID, MAC)

This permission alone cannot send anything anywhere. But the mentioned data collected may be "sent to the mothership" if the app also requested the INTERNET permission, or can make use of another app that has access to the network (e.g. send a mail, SMS, or use the browser).

Next to above two links to my site (other permissions are explained there as well), you might also wish to see What do the permissions that applications require mean? on this site here.

  • @Lucky svc wifi enable|disable. Done! Also, in my Android 4.2.1 and 5.0.2 the file /data/misc/wifi/wpa_supplicant.conf has SSID and password in plain text. :) Not to mention Play Services has access to all of it. – Firelord Aug 13 '15 at 14:51
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    @Lucky & Firelord: You go far beyond the question now. Please discuss that in chat :) For an app to enable/disable WiFi requires the CHANGE_WIFI_STATE permission (yes, you can do that via ADB because ADB has elevated privileges). But discussing the topic at this level only might confuse the OP (unless asked for in another question). – Izzy Aug 13 '15 at 15:31

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