When an app asks for permissions for my media folder for example, does this mean it can access anything in my media folder?

Are apps isolated to only save/read from a subfolder inside my media folder that is specific to that app?

Example, can an app potentially download all of my camera pictures?

I was using Whatsapp, and it wanted special permissions whenever I tried to download a voice message or picture.

  • Yes, and it can access anything stored inside your storage, be it external or internal SD card. All it takes is this: developer.android.com/reference/android/… – Firelord Apr 25 '16 at 21:34
  • @Firelord is this the same with IOS? I thought apps are sandboxed and the storage would be also sandboxed except if you give permission for things like contacts etc. – cool breeze May 2 '16 at 14:26
  • Internal storage as in /data/ is sandboxed but internal sd card as in /sdcard/ is not. I do not know how iOS handles sandboxing. – Firelord May 2 '16 at 14:31

All apps can read and write files; it is a core requirement for most of them and not something that needs to be granted via permissions. There aren't all that many apps that don't store/read any data.

So yes, when you grant the "Read external storage" permission or similar you are granting access to a common storage area. Such apps could potentially upload all of the pictures stored there, yes.

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