App PermissionsAs “apps” become more and more ubiquitous on all our devices, it becomes all that much more important to keep track of what your apps are doing. If you use an iPhone or an Android device, every time you install an app, you get a warning like the one pictured here.

Pay attention to these warnings. If you’re downloading a Solitare game, but the app permissions ask to be able to send SMS messages and read your contacts list, that should indicate a problem to you. The solution? Download a different app. There’s almost always competition in the app stores, and in addition to price and user feedback, it’s also important to consider whether the app is safe. Unsafe apps can spam your contacts, steal your text messages, and kick puppies, so best to avoid an app that asks for more than it should.


This is one of a 30-part series, “No Surveillance State Month,” where daily for the month of June I’ll be posting ways to avoid invasion of your privacy in the digital age. The intent of these posts is not to enable one to escape detection while engaging in criminal activity — there’s still the old-fashioned “send a detective to watch you” for which these posts will not help. Rather, this series will help you to opt-out of the en masse collection of data by the government and large corporations that places Americans in databases without their knowing and freely-given consent for indefinite time periods. We all have the right to privacy, and I hope you demand it.