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Big Brother Birds

A couple of days ago, @Engadget posted about how GCHQ and the NSA may be scouring data obtained from mobiles with Angry Birds (and likely other popular games) installed.  It doesn’t come as a shock.  The NSA was recently outed for wanting to read emails.  There have been numerous posts about Apple secretly obtaining GPS data and the permissions of apps [see my post on Facebook’s app] wanting permission to access parts of your mobile which may or may not be used to obtain copious amounts of data from your device.

I lock out a lot of permissions that apps claim to require in order to function.  Many more require my approval each time the app wants to access my location or SMS history.  I can’t see why an app such as Bad Piggies wants to know my location, phone number, phone’s and SIM card’s serial numbers, access my network etc.  There’s just no need.

I use an app called LBE Privacy Guard.  Although a variant is available from the Play Store, the Chinese version is considerably larger.  Thankfully, someone at XDA has translated the Chinese version to English.  Just sideload the translated version and retrospectively alter the permissions of your apps.  [Some functions may not be available unless your device is rooted].

Of course, this won’t stop the powers that be from acquiring information about you should you find yourself in their crosshairs but these steps may help minimise the risk of your personal data (and mine if you have it) from being uploaded from your phone and sold.

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