A is for App and B is for Behave

A is for App, B is for Behave

This isn’t my first blog about Apps that can take your personal information, and it probably won’t be the last. I am all for Apps that make you more productive and provide information on what is going around you. But there are too many that want access to information they could never legitimately use.

I know people that paid for apps to be created to help them launch products or provide their services on mobile devices. I was going to download one of them onto my phone, so I went to the Google Play store, viewed the details (good reviews), clicked on install and saw the list of permissions it was after.

Badly behaved App - permissions

The app is intended to provide news updates about a chain of shops and show me the nearest one. I am OK with giving access to my location, but why does it need to access my identity, phone, media files and camera? This isn’t a well-behaved app. So I went to look at other apps by the same developer. You probably know what I saw; they all wanted the same information. As an ex-developer, I know the pressures developers are under to reuse code, but this really isn’t acceptable.

Only get the information you need. Asking for access to other information where there is no legitimate need opens up the possibility of it being taken from devices and used for other purposes.

One of the Principles of the new data protection law – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – is to only collect what is necessary. Failure to do this can result in a large fine.

If you are a business that wants an app – ask your design agency or developer to make sure it only asks for what is actually needed.  Don’t get fined.

Want to know more security and privacy in apps or what to include in your development process, then get in touch.