Google Play Store apps have been labelled “pretty greedy” by a research report that looked at the furore surrounding Facebook Messenger and compared it to the top 50 Google Play Store social apps.
Veracode looked at the list of Android permissions requested by the latest version of Facebook Messenger and found that many of its fellow apps are also requesting the same permissions that enable many apps to function correctly.
“Mobile apps need these permissions if you want them to function properly. Messenger is a feature-packed app; some of the others may not be. Asking for all those permissions doesn’t necessarily mean the access will be abused,” stated Chris Eng, VP of research at Veracode.
Data from Veracode was taken from the remaining 49 of the Google Play Store’s top 50 social apps and it showed that most other apps share parity with the Facebook Messenger application.
For example, 67 per cent of other popular social apps require the READ_CONTACTS permission whereas 47 per cent ask to access the CAMERA permission and Veracode is of the opinion that none of this should be a surprise.
“In part, people love to pick on Facebook because of their past privacy UI transgressions. They’ve deserved much of that. But it’s a little crazy that there’s such an incendiary reaction to the privacy implications of a mobile app that, permissions-wise, isn’t that different from the multitude of social apps people happily download without a second thought,” Eng speculated, when broaching the issue of anger towards Facebook.
Users of the social media site have been angered by the decision by Facebook to make anyone wanting to use messaging download the separate app or face being locked out. This then gave way to yet another tide of criticism when users realised the app permissions and it might not be just Facebook that gets criticised in the wake of Veracode’s findings.