5

There is a Android application Threema for communication encryption and that says it does not collect user data, but it requires the following permissions: identity, contacts and device ID.

Can this application be considered really secure?

  • Depends on what you're looking for in security. Can you be specific in what data you're concerned about? – RoraΖ Aug 11 '15 at 13:00
  • Providing the identity and contacts from the phone for a normal person wouldn't be necessary a issue but for a journalist or activist I think it would be a concern. – Mihai B. Aug 11 '15 at 13:16
  • I believe you answered your own question. If there is a risk related to sharing your contacts and you want to avoid that risk the option of not using that app is very attractive – Purefan Aug 11 '15 at 13:26
2

Android Permissions are a tricky subject - there are a range of reasons why an App might require some fishy sounding permission to private data:

  1. Intent to steal you data and use it for advertsising or selling it
  2. Lazy coding / incompetent coding ( I'm not sure what exactly we need, so let's just get this general permission to all files )
  3. Bad Android Design - somtimes a strange permission like camera is needed to activate the flashlight, or track phone calls which sounds like someone is listening to your private conversations, but is actually needed to pause a music player when you receive a call (This varies with many android versions)
  4. Actual use-case for some functionality in the app. Maybe the app features some functionality which actually needs this permission even if you don't use this functionality / don't know about it. A messenger could let you share contact details in chat and only require access for this.

What to do?

Best Case: You should only use apps where you trust the Publisher. And you could use a System like CyanogenMod which has integrated control - so you can decide to block any app from accessing your contacts, or decide to show a confirmation dialog each time it wants to access certain private data.

The preview for Android M also sounds like a fine grained permission control might be a standard-feature in upcoming releases...

1

No, such features under mobile OSs today, do not unambiguously separate between 'privacy-leaks' and 'basic needs' — and that operating system developers are partly to blame.

Details on this have been provided by other answerers, but this awareness was even reinforced in the question text.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.