If you own a smartphone or other mobile digital device, you have probably asked yourself, “Why do apps need access to my photos and media files?” There are many reasons why. They are discussed in more detail, so please read further!
Why do apps need to access photos and files?
To answer your question, “why do apps need access to my photos and files?” Apps are separate programs that work independently on your smartphone/digital device. They may need to access your information to allow them to perform certain key digital functions. A good example would be scanning the barcode on your plane ticket.
However, apps generally require access to your information because it helps them understand what and how they should be marketing to you. Apps can gather your personal and vital information from your email address and your contacts list. They can understand what your hobbies and interests are from your photos. This puts them in a better position to market certain products and services to you. Various companies create these apps and accessing your personal information allows them to understand the best marketing campaigns for you.
This now brings us to a very relevant question, “what permission do apps need?” Apps generally need your permission to access your location, where you live, the contacts in your email address, etc...However, some apps go much further. These apps (often) want to access your contacts on social media platforms like Facebook. Some other permissions that apps commonly request are:
- Body sensors - apps normally needs this permission to access your health records
- Calendar - social media apps need this to understand what events they can promote to you and sign you up for.
- Camera - these apps ask to access your pictures and video recording capabilities.
Is it safe to allow apps to access your photos?
This is indeed a question that many people who own mobile digital devices ask. The answer is, “it depends!” You can allow most apps like Facebook and Instagram to access your photos. But, there are times when you should NOT give an app this permission. In these instances, giving apps this permission will likely backfire on you and may even be dangerous.
NEVER give an app that asks for access to the following additional information permission to access your photos:
- Calling logs
- Private messages
- Physical location and/or address
Note: it’s perfectly safe and acceptable to allow social media apps to access your camera. They can’t function properly otherwise.
Now that you understand why apps need to access your photos and media files, be careful. Once you give an app permission to access this information and more, you could be opening a ‘Pandora’s Box’ because not all apps are good and/or have good intentions.