What are the risks when Android security apps ask for intrusive permissions — such as full camera access?
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Android apps and ‘consensual bugging’
Reader Jason Tendell had a question after reading the July 10 Top Story, “Mobile security: Apps to protect Android devices.”
- “What about the fact that many of these security apps require permission to access your camera and microphone? Isn’t this tantamount to consensual bugging?”
Well, yes — in a way.
But not all security or privacy threats are equal. When considering any app, feature, or technology, you have to weigh the risks against the benefits.
Security apps can protect you from malware, block hostile sites, find lost or stolen phones, back up critical data, and more. If a security app also needs camera access so that it can snap a theftie (a photo of a possible thief), I’m not going to worry much about it. The benefits far outweigh the added risks.