Monday, December 27, 2010

How To Limit Application Trust

Why is it when I see an application in the Chome Web Store I see a little notice about what permissions the app will have, and I'll see a similar list of permissions before installing an Android application?


Why is it that I don't see something more like this?


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

...Because apps rarely ask for permissions they don't need, and if you could pick and choose which permissions to allow it would break a lot of apps.

Masklinn said...

doOn the other hand, iOS lets users choose (and edit) on a per-application basis who will or won't get access to location data (sadly, it doesn't extend that customization to other access rights).

Thus iOS applications have to take in account the possibility that they will not be able to access location data, even if they need it.

If Android did the same, developers would have to handle permission issues as well (either by pre-testing and refusing to run or by cooking up recovery scenarios depending on the allowed APIs)

verte said...

I heartily agree. The one that annoys me the most with its desire for permissions at the moment is google maps. I don't care about all these features: you don't need my personal information at all.

Developers of access control systems seem to ignore the last fifteen years of capability theory and the UI work that came with it - people have worked hard to make this sort of security usable, we know the answers, we just don't bother to develop toward them.

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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