Well, it’s not less than a shocker to me since I’m on Android. A recent report about Android apps that steal your photos from phone’s library has paralyzed me to my feet and all this is done without your permission.
“We can confirm that there is no special permission required for an app to read pictures. This is based on Lookout’s findings on all devices we’ve tested.” said Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer of Lookout.
It is unknown at the moment how many apps are performing that task on Android Market, but Lookout is assured about this happening.
Ralph Gootee who is Android dev and also a chief technology officer at a software company Loupe, demoed this case in hand by developing a simple Tea Timer app. Once the app is installed on the smartphone it asks your permission to get Internet access, after which you set a timer for your tea time. And there it goes, the app secretly goes to your library and fetches the most recent taken picture and uploads it to a photo sharing Website, Imgur.
So absurd! How can I protect my family pictures from being shared on Internet without my permission, this is the question might be clicking your mind right now? Sorry I don’t have an answer to that yet mate.
Once approached a spokesman from Google said “We originally designed the Android photos file system similar to those of other computing platforms like Windows and Mac OS,” the spokesman said in an e-mail message. “At the time, images were stored on a SD card, making it easy for someone to remove the SD card from a phone and put it in a computer to view or transfer those images. As phones and tablets have evolved to rely more on built-in, nonremovable memory, we’re taking another look at this and considering adding a permission for apps to access images. We’ve always had policies in place to remove any apps on Android Market that improperly access your data.”