When an app needs to get access to your smartphone’s camera to take a photo, it will ask you for permission. When faced with a pop-up notification asking to give Facebook access to the camera, most of us will tap “allow,” thinking nothing of the access we have handed over.

But what if it’s not Facebook asking for access? What if it’s a torch app asking for your permission to remotely access your microphone whenever it wants? That’s a trickier decision to make.

Smartphone apps are able to do a broad range of things without asking your permission. They can play sounds, for example. But when they need to do something a little more in-depth, that’s when they have to ask for approval.

Most people…



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