Sunday, October 26, 2014

Complaint to Google about new Android app privacy dialog

The new permissions layout is really confusing and conflates privacy issues as it often says something to the effect of "This app has access to one or more of these features: somewhat benign feature, extremely personal information, something that seems irrelevant to me, 1984-esque privacy intrusion."

I am often confused with the permissions being asked for in this new layout due to the fact that many apps have the same categories of privacy but when looking at the details of the category things are different. Also, why do some categories tell me exactly what the app has access to and others say "one or more of the following"; this inconsistency is confusing and time consuming to deal with because I end up looking at the details of every category to see if I will find out what the app is actually getting.

I'm really quite amazed that this change was made while not implementing the ability for the app creator to actually explain why the permission is required by the app.

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