I just picked one of the 32gb wireless flash drives up and I’ve successfully used a standard web browser to connect to it. I then went to the android store to download the app and I was surprised at the list of access rights the app requires.
Why does it need access to:
- my contacts and calendar?
- the phone # of the people I call or recive calls from?
- other apps I have installed and/or currently running?
- internet browsing history?
I’m sorry but I can’t think of a technical reason for it to need all of that.
Please see below a list of access permissions the Wireless Flash Drive app uses. The WFD app has access to contacts due to a feature that will be added in an upcoming release. The new feature will allow you to backup your contacts wirelessly to the WFD. We are not asking permission for any “Internet browsing history” nor for “other apps installed” (only currently running tasks).
This app has access to:
Device & app history
- retrieve running apps
- read sensitive log data
- read your contacts
- modify your contacts
- test access to protected storage
- modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
- access USB storage filesystem
Wi-Fi connection information
Device ID & call information
- read phone status and identity
- full network access
- view network connections
- connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi
- change network connectivity
- allow Wi-Fi Multicast reception
- prevent device from sleeping
- run at startup
- close other apps
- modify system settings
Thanks for additional info. The permissions I listed were taken from the notification from the google play store when I attempted to install the app. So, the store seems to think the app is accessing internet browsing history (along with the others mentioned).
Since the app has full network access and access to various pieces of personal info (in this case including the file names and content), does the app ever send any info to any device (or network location) that is not under my control? Meaning does the app “phone home”? A while ago LG got caught phoning home data (see http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/11/lg-smart-tv-snooping-extends-to-home-networks-second-blogger-says/))
No, the app NEVER sends any info to any device or network location without your explicit consent.
After first app installation has completed and you launch the app you may be presented with a pop-up asking if you’d like to anonymously share usage data to help us improve our app. If you accept they app will phone home occasionally, unless you turn this off in the Settings menu ->About->Feedback If you decline – it will never “phone home”.
Either way, this is not derived or assumed from the acceptance of the app store’s permissions but strictly from this separate upfront popup.
I am really surprised that rights of android app development must be given in order for android stores and other platform where everyone can download the app.