Monday, May 21, 2012

Is Mobage Spying on Android users? Tiny Tower

I saw the game called tiny tower on my friends ipod and he sayed it did not need internet at all (Duh). So i went on the android market, and downloaded, it.

I started up the app, and it sayed it needed aditional data from online. Well that was typical on a game. So i turned on my only source of internet (wifi, i dont have data untill i get a job) and downloaded it. Later on that day, my wifi was off to not drain batter life on my LG Thrive, and the game would not start, i was confused? I turned on my wifi and it worked, wow.

Ok, i played the game for like 2 months and then i strated thinking (lol, first think then do right), why the game needed internet. I read the permissions and here is what it sayed:

Permissions

This application has access to the following:

  • Your location
    fine (GPS) location
    Access fine location sources such as the Global Positioning System on the tablet, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine where you are, and may consume additional battery power. Access fine location sources such as the Global Positioning System on the phone, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine where you are, and may consume additional battery power.
    coarse (network-based) location
    Access coarse location sources such as the cellular network database to determine an approximate tablet location, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine approximately where you are. Access coarse location sources such as the cellular network database to determine an approximate phone location, where available. Malicious apps may use this to determine approximately where you are.
  • Network communication
    full Internet access
    Allows the app to create network sockets.
  • Your personal information
    read contact data
    Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your tablet. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people. Allows the app to read all of the contact (address) data stored on your phone. Malicious apps may use this to send your data to other people.
  • Phone calls
    read phone state and identity
    Allows the app to access the phone features of the device. An app with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like.
  • Storage
    modify/delete USB storage contents modify/delete SD card contents
    Allows the app to write to the USB storage. Allows the app to write to the SD card.
  • System tools
    prevent tablet from sleeping prevent phone from sleeping
    Allows the app to prevent the tablet from going to sleep. Allows the app to prevent the phone from going to sleep.
    retrieve running apps
    Allows the app to retrieve information about currently and recently running tasks. Malicious apps may discover private information about other apps.
    change network connectivity
    Allows the app to change the state of network connectivity.
    change Wi-Fi state
    Allows the app to connect to and disconnect from Wi-Fi access points, and to make changes to configured Wi-Fi networks.
Hide
  • Your accounts
    discover known accounts
    Allows the app to get the list of accounts known by the tablet. Allows the app to get the list of accounts known by the phone.
  • Hardware controls
    control vibrator
    Allows the app to control the vibrator.
  • Your location
    access extra location provider commands
    Allows the app to access extra location provider commands. Malicious apps may use this to interfere with the operation of the GPS or other location sources.
  • Network communication
    receive data from Internet
    Allows apps to accept cloud to device messages sent by the app's service. Using this service will incur data usage. Malicious apps could cause excess data usage.
    view Wi-Fi state
    Allows the app to view the information about the state of Wi-Fi.
    view network state
    Allows the app to view the state of all networks.
  • Default
    Market billing service
    Allows the user to purchase items through Market from within this application
     
     
    Here is what i think needs to go:
    1. Location! it is always their on most apps, but mobage does not need to know where the fuck im at. (sorry for the language again and again).
    2. Personal info/ contacts, why does mobage want to know who i keep in touch with?
    3.Phone calls, why do they need to know who im calling.
    4.Storage, why does it need to know what music i have on my sd card omfg.
    5.System tools, well some things here can stay but things like : Allows the app to retrieve information about currently and recently running tasks. Malicious apps may discover private information about other apps. I think here mobage is talkin about itself, it is malicous undercover.

    All i have to say to this is : WHAT...THE...FUCK!
    They dont need to know where im at.
    This is just a warning, apps can do ANYTHING, (not too long ago, mobage got rid of the permission to read text messages).

14 comments:

  1. Hey Dan,

    I'm the community manager for Mobage and noticed this post via a comment on Twitter. I understand your concerns about the permissions that Mobage requires. I wanted to reassure you that nothing nefarious is happening here, and we detail the reasons that these permissions are required on our support page: http://support.mobage.com/kbarticle?id=kA0C00000008Uh1&lang=en_US

    Let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

    Cheers,

    -Dave
    @davely on Twitter
    http://support.mobage.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ty, but if you are not using half the permissions for tiny tower, including internet, internet should not be required unless you are purchasing or something that needs internet. i really want to play off line because i do not have data plan so i dont have web 24/7. thanks for the link but i think you can get rid of some permisions that are not needed.

      Delete
    2. Hey Dave Schumaker,

      That link about the permissions doesn't work - it says the page doesn't exist. The same applies to the link within the "More Info" section of the game's page within the Google Play store. You're asking us to give you the permissions, and then you're not letting us see the page that is supposed to explain why you need so many of these permissions. Why not?

      Delete
  2. Well how come this "mobage" has to interfere with my Tiny Tower? I bought Tiny Tower not mobage, I dont have to make a fricking account if I don't want to. Mobage is stupid to not let me play the app that I actually bought. I even tried to make an account just to get through it and it STILL plays dumb with me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh ya and it works perfectly on my iPod touch! No dumb interfereance like mobage. Then I got it on my Samsung Galaxy S III and mobage just has to pop up every time I open the app.

      Delete
    2. Oh ya and it works perfectly on my iPod touch! No dumb interfereance like mobage. Then I got it on my Samsung Galaxy S III and mobage just has to pop up every time I open the app.

      Delete
  3. So yeah, i cant play tiny tower AT ALL! because it says i have to be 14(I will be in 2 months!) and i cant link a different facebook account

    ReplyDelete
  4. This Mobage company is so, so shady. Their games ask for the most permissions out of any company I've seen yet. Why the hell do they need access to all of this info if they're not trying to turn a profit off of it? I mean, I can't be the only one who refuses to download any more of their apps after finding out about all of these permissions, so what possible benefit are they getting from doing this?

    Also, look at the first page of reviews for Blood Brothers on Google Play:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobage.ww.a759.Blood_Brothers_Android&hl=en There's at least three five star reviews by different google accounts on that first page alone that use the exact same phrasing and sentences.

    ReplyDelete
  5. sounds like mobage is nothing but a damn communist spy thief to me. I will be going on my phone and making sure i dont have any of their apps dowloaded. You know i just decided yesterday that i want to go back to school to become a developer for apps and maybe i can come up with an app just for this kind of thing. Cause i know i have like 4 different spywares and malwares on my phone and i have had problems and none of mine have warned me of anything. I just had to go in and clean out some of the apps that i have granted permissions like too. Thanks for the info guys *karma*

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  6. I was about to download this app and then noticed all of the permissions and couldn't believe it. This is ridiculous and seems borderline illegal. They are storing all of this personal information and claim to not be using it for anything.
    I hope someone can prove that this information is being sold or shared with other companies so that Mobage get hammered with lawsuits until they're in bankruptcy. This shady company bought the rights to a good game and now are trying to exploit it. I would rather just pay $5 for the game than have someone sift through my personal information. Hopefully people spread the word about this and boycott Mobage games. I think they're counting on people not reading the fine print. Shadyness...

    ReplyDelete
  7. What Android needs is a layer where, when an app wants to acess some stuff, you can redirect it to fake stuff. You'd set up fake information for these apps.
    The apps are happy, because they have information to work, and the user is happy because is privacy is respected

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a way. If you enable developer options on Android, you can enable fake locations!!!

      Delete
  8. I wanted to download, maybe purchase, but it was asking for waaaaay to much permissions. Next.

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  9. Much obliged you all that much to share these connections. Will look at this.. programma per spiare cellulare

    ReplyDelete