Smartphones and privacy — tuning app permissions

When you install or update apps on your smartphone, do you get prompts for permissions? Access to your camera, contacts, photos, network, etc. Clear or confusing? Is there a choice — all or none or just some?

CNET’s article “Your Android phone is too damn nosy” discussed this issue.

On Android phones, people have faced an all-or-nothing approach. They could accept all permissions when they download the app or nix downloading it at all. Google is addressing the concerns of Egelman and others with its Android Marshmallow [6.0] operating system, which lets people sign off on more specific permissions before installing an app.

Egelman said that up to now people have been used to and resigned to just tapping “yes” on permissions so they can use an app. But the study, conducted by the University of British Columbia and the University of California at Berkeley, showed that 80 percent of people would have said “no” to at least one permission request if they’d been given the opportunity. What’s more, the average participant wanted to say “no” to nearly a third of all the permissions their phone has demanded in order to run apps.

The referenced article for Android Marshmallow noted:

Instead of giving any app carte-blanche permission to look at your contacts, photos, or use your Wi-Fi signal, just by simply downloading it, you now have the power to rein in your apps.

If you use an iPhone, do you know how to tune your app permissions (settings)?