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Android Government Your Rights Online

FTC Settles With Android Developer In Data Exposure Case 36

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the privacy-is-mandatory dept.
Trailrunner7 writes with some good/bad news concerning Android and privacy. Quoting the Threatpost article: "In a landmark move, the Federal Trade Commission has settled charges it brought against the maker of a P2P file-sharing application that the commission alleged included unfair default settings that caused users to unknowingly share photos, videos and other personal data. The settlement with FrostWire LLC may well be an indication that the federal government is going to be taking a hard look at the way developers set up their apps and what users know about the data they collect and share." The settlement is pretty light: they have to change their defaults and give everyone affected an upgrade. FTC involvement in this is interesting: on the one hand people were unknowingly exposing private data; on the other hand, is FTC regulation of something like this a good thing? In the case of Free Software who does the FTC sue? How would they enforce any rulings?
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FTC Settles With Android Developer In Data Exposure Case

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  • What a waste of limited bandwidth and battery life...

    Or am I missing some very large good idea behind it?

    • by c0d3g33k (102699)

      Using the built-in WiFi capabilities of the mobile phone and publicly accessible and open WiFi access points to torrent in a way that doesn't point to their home internet connection so they aren't part of the next RIAA/MPAA fishing expedition?

      • Wouldn't it just point to their mobile phone instead, which is contracted to a real name and credit card / money? As opposed to using an open access point with a limited-use netbook that has a MAC address but no personal data?

        which, now that I think of it, is an excuse to go buy another toy . . .
        • by melstav (174456)

          Wouldn't it just point to their mobile phone instead, which is contracted to a real name and credit card / money?

          Not directly. And in many cases, not at all.

          A smartphone that has been connected to a WiFi network will default to sending ALL internet traffic over WiFi instead of the cellular network. So, it'll be just like your netbook.

          So, if the RIAA/MPAA wanted to file a "John Doe" lawsuit based on torrent tracker records, they'd see that the public IP used on the connection was on the network owned by, s

  • Or government should be for generally. Ideally, government aggregates and applies the collective will and power of the people, for the good of the people, in those instances where individuals acting individually have little to no effect.

    Not that the recent supreme court decision about binding arbitration runs counter to this principle.

    • Just hope that the few people in the FCC appointed by someone who was elected by 23% of the population knows what people want, knows what is good for people, and is willing to carry it out. I have a problem assuming any of those points are true which is why I'm not in favor of regulations like this unless they apply to monopolies/oligopolies which we shouldn't have in the first place (in most, if not all industries).
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Just hope that the few people in the FCC appointed by someone who was elected by 23% of the population knows what people want, knows what is good for people, and is willing to carry it out. I have a problem assuming any of those points are true which is why I'm not in favor of regulations like this unless they apply to monopolies/oligopolies which we shouldn't have in the first place (in most, if not all industries).

        Yeah, fuck regulations and fuck elective democracy, let's just base everything on who's got the most firepower.

  • I don't know how the iPhone does it, bur on Android we REALLY need a way to disallow some permissions for each applications. I mean, you install a photo retouching app or music player and it asks for full internet access, full flash card access, GPS position, camera and whatnot. I want the RIGHT to tell the app: 'no, you can't access the net' and not in a way that the app can understand and refuse to work, more in a way 'there's currently no connection'. Come on, it's not that hard to understand and not tha
    • Stericson (the guy who makes busybox, metamorph and such for android) has an app to do this. You need root of course, but here's a link to the app on the market: http://goo.gl/orhTq [goo.gl]
    • sounds like you want an iPhone. when an app calls for your location, you get a pop up window: [application] wants to use your current location. Don't Allow or OK

      • by scot4875 (542869)

        Good thing the *only* permission someone might be interested in denying is the location service, otherwise iOS might not be suitable for every person's needs.

        --Jeremy

      • That's exactly what I wouldn't want, and not what the OP asked for. He didn't ask to have to click "allow/deny" with every action an app took, he asked to be able to deny permissions at install time on an individual basis, instead of an "all or nothing" one.

        • You can also disable the location access for each app individually in the global device settings page.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Talk to the developers. It's a developer issue, not a platform issue. If you want a platform that locks down everything, I hear Apple has some sort of phone.

    • I don't really understand why this is something people want so badly to be honest. Even if I could deny permissions to an app, do I really want to give business to someone who is clearly making a Trojan of some description. If a photo editing app is asking for permissions for things it really shouldn't (okay, I can think of reasons why a photo app would want what you said, but I'm speaking more generally here) then it kind of draws into question whether the app is actually any good or the developer is just
      • by tehcyder (746570)
        I thought on slashdot we only ran programs that we had compiled ourselves from the carefully scrutinised source code anyway?
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I don't know how the iPhone does it, bur on Android we REALLY need a way to disallow some permissions for each applications. I mean, you install a photo retouching app or music player and it asks for full internet access, full flash card access, GPS position, camera and whatnot. I want the RIGHT to tell the app: 'no, you can't access the net' and not in a way that the app can understand and refuse to work, more in a way 'there's currently no connection'. Come on, it's not that hard to understand and not that hard to do.

      Go and write the software yourself if you're that fucking paranoid..

      You do not have a RIGHT to expect someone else's software to do exactly what you want, how you want it.

      • If I am paying money for it I do.

        This is where feature requests come from. People saying how they would like the device to work. This is how developers learn to iterate on the correct features and make the application better. Developers who ignore feature requests as pathetic whining usually don't do so well.
    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      I think that's available on CyanogenMod: permissions management [ceetee.me].
  • by geekoid (135745)

    Yes, the FTC regulating this is a good thing; no doubt many poster will blow this way out of proportion.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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