New access permissions to call log and SMS, in the spotlight
A few months ago we told you how Google was beginning to take Android permissions seriously. The ability of some applications to access our call and message log was completely unnecessary, which is why they decided to restrict that permission.
As we told you, the new Google Play policy limit access to third party applications, so that no application that was not among the default ones could access these important records.
Why does Google limit this feature?
Google must do a responsibility exercise with Android. For years, the freedom it has given developers has ended up being a mistake. The applications have taken advantage of the ignorance of users to collect all kinds of user data. Access to the call log and SMS messages is one of the most controversial.
Facebook has spent years collecting all kinds of information from our mobiles, and something similar happened to us with the Xiaomi web browser. Why does a web browser need permissions to register calls? The only reasonable thing one can think of is that all they want is our data.
Google decided to scissor the functions, and Google Play will not allow this type of behavior for such permissions. To some extent, it seems like a good movement for security. Of course, we would like you to apply this type of responsibility to the collection of the location, another big problem that we have already talked about many times.
Google puts an end to unnecessary access to SMS and call log
Google intensifies the permissions in the Google Play Store in order to cut off the unnecessary access to SMS and telephone call log.
Applications will be able to access permissions with Google’s approval
Are all malicious applications fraudulent and collect data? Google has wanted to cut from the roots, but neither does it claim that they pay just for sinners. There are two great applications that are very dear and have been affected by these changes, as we read in Android Police.
That's great, congratulations! We do not see the point of submitting the form again, now our use case is explicitly prohibited 🙁 pic.twitter.com/NNi5mCt8ZY
– Cerberus (@cerberusapp) January 4, 2019
The first one is Cerberus. It is one of the oldest mobile security applications on Android, which bases its business model on subscriptions, maintaining the privacy of its users.
Among the virtues of Cerberus, We can send SMS messages to our lost mobile, in order to make it sound, or erase the data. It is a feature highly valued by Cerberus users, and the new Google Play policy detracts from that application.
Cerberus is one of the great Android anti-theft applications.
Another application that has also undergone the Google Play privacy change is Tasker, one of the oldest Android automation applications. Tasker used message permission to Create automatic rules when receiving a specific SMS message.
Fortunately, Tasker's case has been resolved favorably. The popular application has received Google Play approval to continue using these permissions. We imagine that in this process they will have had to demonstrate that their application does not use such records for fraudulent purposes, which is great news for users.
More security, less freedom
The malware is to blame.
One of the things we like most about Android is the freedom that the operating system allows. Unfortunately, that freedom is becoming more concise, as Google gradually restricts more and more functions.
We do not think that Google is restricting them to resemble your system to iOS, but by pure reaction to every scandal related to the theft of personal information.