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See detailAn (Un)Necessary Evil - Users’ (Un)Certainty about Smartphone App Permissions and Implications for Privacy Engineering
Bongard, Kerstin UL; Sterckx, Jean-Louis; Rossi, Arianna UL et al

in 2022 7th IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops (EuroSPW) (in press)

App permission requests are a control mechanism meant to help users oversee and safeguard access to data and resources on their smartphones. To decide whether to accept or deny such requests and make this ... [more ▼]

App permission requests are a control mechanism meant to help users oversee and safeguard access to data and resources on their smartphones. To decide whether to accept or deny such requests and make this consent valid, users need to understand the underlying reasons and judge the relevance of disclosing data in line with their own use of an app. This study investigates people’s certainty about app permission requests via an online survey with 400 representative participants of the UK population. The results demonstrate that users are uncertain about the necessity of granting app permissions for about half of the tested permission requests. This implies substantial privacy risks, which are discussed in the paper, resulting in a call for user-protecting interventions by privacy engineers. [less ▲]

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