Android phones a smallish, ok long, rant

So despite being a very old skewl geek i just got my first smart phone. While it is fun it is scarey. I am amazed at the amount of information these apps require, im big fan of privacy and find it difficult to install the vast majority of the apps.

Why would a simple game require full access to my phone including contacts list, photos with the ability to edit/remove them, etc.

Why has the industry allowed this, for that matter the consumer base?

Am i the only one that cares about privacy anymore?

I just dont understand the willingness of people to give away their right to privacy to play a game or use a flashlight, a function built into the phone already. The collective data is astounding to me, we are nothing more than subjects of advertising agencies and this terrifies me.

So far i have only found a handful of apps that i can use:

Steam Engine
Android Army Knife (this app requires use of camera but within reason as it is a function of the app)
Andchat (irc chat)
Vapers Toolbox
Netscan (Like i said im a geek)
ES File Manager (cant really use the phone without this)

Everything else i have wanted to install requires data the app doesnt use or need. Of course the biggest offender is Google. I mean WTF Google, why dont you just move in to my freakin house… Nearly everything is tied to google, in one way or another, and it annoys the hell out of me. Back when this version of the interwebz was starting out there was a HUGE battle over cookies and google was at the heart of it. Perhaps this was a short term thing back then but what it has blossomed into now is seriously scarey to someone like me.

Ill wrap this rant up by asking again. Am i the only one bothered by the data mining that is going on?


You are not alone. There are many who feel as you do and I’m one of them. Problem is the Facebook Generation. People who are more than happy to allow anyone and everyone in the world know everything about themselves. This new attitude on personal privacy means we are becoming a minority, sorta like Vapers. You know how it goes, it takes a whole lot of bitching to get anything done…

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I’m not a programmer, but I have done some very basic programming. Also, I’m sure I’ll be corrected on my mistakes here, which is perfectly okay, if I’m incorrect I need to know it.
Many of the apps are utilize parts and pieces of programs that are already in use on your phone i.e if you get a new map app, it normally isn’t a “totally new map app” but acts as a frontend on the current map program, it may provide additional features and even use different data, but more often than not the app is using current libraries on the phone and the classes that were installed with the android system originally. What this means is that the flashlight app may use a piece of the system that is also used by lets say the phone or map system that does have the ability to use the contact info or the location info you have set. Because of this, the programmer is required to let you know that since the app does access to the classes that do have the ability to use that data for “full discloser (however its spelt)” the flashlight app also has the rights to use that data. There may not be any way for that flashlight app to really use the data, but since it uses the same libraries that does use it, the programmer has to let you know that.

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Yes, sound reasonable for some apps. I do think we all know that a lot of info gathered is used for targeted advertising as well. Very few free apps will not push advertising on you. Heck, some apps you pay for still push unwanted advertising on you…

Totally agree ringling, I wasn’t trying to excuse the amount of advertising nor the collection of data that far too many apps probably send back to the app programmers, just wished to give one of the reasons apps have those permissions.


I don’t know how Android phones work, but on my iPhone (yeah, yeah, I know…hate, hate, hate. :stuck_out_tongue: ) apps have to ask before they use things like photos, location, camera, mic, etc. and I can go into the settings and turn it on or off for individual apps. That being said, who knows if that ‘permission’ system is actually followed. Just thought I’d throw that in there.


I agree with you both. I have a firm understanding of programming as well as unix based systems, ive been around since the beginning of the home PC revolution and learned to program in BASIC. A flashlight app could be tied to the camera as well as some other libraries. But contact list information? Last call information? Some of this stuff is ridiculous and a total privacy invasion.

Thing about the android system is that it is all or nothing, you dont get to turn on/off certain permissions or it renders the app useless… I find this to be absolutely shitty. In no way do i trust a 3rd party to use my information in a responsible manner or secure it.

Wish i could root this phone but im not paying 20 bucks for MOFO’s root software.

Now that i think about this a little more i understand it a bit better but it would be nice if i could see what information is going out and if it is going out in plain txt or securely. This whole thing bothers the crap out of me and will make me use it less than and in different ways that i planned.

Sad part about your mention of rooting the phone, fed made it a right about a year ago I believe that the person owning the phone could legally root it, so android made it a faulty switch i.e.KNOX to inform carriers to know if you rooted or not. Although you can root it, carriers now have the right to refuse the phone as a return because you violated their regulations. Most phones can be rooted (I’ve rooted both my Nexus 7 and Galaxy S5 (later unrooted the S5 with no issues), all freely w/out buying a special app.
Oh, wanted to say, had the C64 and a 300 baud modem (I think I had a slower modem at one time but can’t remember that far back lol) Prior to that I was doing the old 10 goto 20 … to play a star trek game that too a few hundred lines of code to type every night lol

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Rofl, i had the same setup. I miss the BBS days, i truly do. This version of the interwebz just annoys me to no end. Im ready to bring back Gopher Web, at least it wasnt a commercialized cesspool of ads and political correctness.

I still have my IBM 5150, it still runs and i still use it for some games.

The original BASIC was awful, mess up one line in the beginning meant having to delete everything up to that point and rewriting all the code.

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I can’t believe I reading this. Are we showing our age or what? I used to run a BBS which I wrote the code. Did that for years…

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We arent old, we are classics! hehe

I ran a BBS myself dial-up the IP based, i also ran a Gopher Hole until a couple years ago. I miss the days of green screen and plain txt.

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It was interesting back in those days, however, I can do so much more these days. This is my last endeavor…

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Ok, you have go to be kidding me… Are you on IRC or something? I have had that site BM’d since late 2012 if i recall correctly.

What is IRC?

Small world I guess. I don’t do much with the site now that it is written but I keep it going for those who want to check it out now and then…

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Love the old bluemail myself, I was a ircOp on both undernet then later when dalnet started up back in the 95’ timeframe, fondly recalling pre PnP days of figuring out pin settings on the com board so both a mouse and modem could work at the same time… lol but that was of course during windoze first getting ramped up, punching holes in floppy disks to make them double sided lol


Internet Chat Relay, it is one of the older communication platforms, one that i have never stopped using despite all the newer, fancier apps. I just found out how i ran across the site, one of my buddies claims he sent me the link a couple years ago. Thanks for your efforts, ive used it several times in the past.

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There is no such thing as privacy anymore. There are websites that have not only your info on them but anyone related to you. It’s scary. I do my best to not put my personal info anywhere, but that’s not a guarantee of anything. I’m not the paranoid type but there are somethings I think should not be floating around cyber-space. I don’t have facebook, twitter, pintrest etc and my phone is an old school flip phone. My tablet has the wrong location info on it on purpose, but anyone able to trace an IP address would be able to get what they need.
It’s no wonder why identity theft is on the rise.


Those were the days! Nice to meet some of our elders. I started out on Undernet as well them jumped to Dalnet after the splinter. Once Dalnet became a haven for worm code testing and then fell as a file sharing network i floated around on smaller networks until i found my way to Rizon where i still reside. I ran several large channels on Dalnet, Cartoons and TV, back then and was an OP an several other channels but i was a bit heavy handed and was removed, hehe.

I still use IRC daily, i also still use the gopher web. Im not sure if it is out of nostalgia or stubbornness.