A look at dangerous apps

A High-powered flashlight for Android —the developer says it’s been downloaded over 10 million times.

This app wants permission to take pictures and video with your phones camera and uses videos and photos store on your phone. It can use your GPS to determine your exact location.

It can get information on other apps you have on the phone. It also shares information with a dozen companies so that they can send you advertisements.

Some of the permissions are understandable. It uses your gps so it can give you a compass, your camera so it can use the flash. Free apps almost always include advertisements, but why would a flashlight app want to use photos and videos I’ve taken?

Particularly worrisome are apps used by children.

Disney’s Monster’s Runaway requires information on the owner of the phone’s identity, their location. It needs access to photos and video, information about the WiFi network and even the phone number and device id, when you’re making a call and the number you’re calling.

That’s just creepy.

The thing about these apps is that this is information it requires before it’s downloaded and installed.

The greatest offenders of requiring this information are Android apps. That doesn’t mean iPhone apps don’t do some of those things, but the open source allowed by Google makes it easier for the app developers to require those permissions.

 Look over the permissions before installing.

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