Samsung Washing Machine App Requires Access To Your Contacts and Location
For some reason, Samsung apps designed to control internet-connected washer and dryers require “bogus,” “absurd,” “unacceptable,” “pesky,” and “awful” permissions. Motherboard reports: On Wednesday, a Reddit user complained that their washing machine app, the Samsung Smart Washer, wouldn’t work “unless I give it access to my contacts, location and camera.” This is a common complaint. “When I launch the app, the damned thing wants all sort of permissions: location, phone calls, media, and … contacts??? The app won’t work without these permissions,” another Reddit user grumbled last year, referring to another Samsung app — called Smart Home — that requires the same seemingly exaggerated permissions. “Why would the Samsung Smart Home app need access to my contacts?” The reviews for these two apps, both of which have more than a million installs according to their stats on the Google Play store, aren’t very positive either. The Smart Washer App has an average of 2.1 stars, thanks to a slew of reviews that mention the unnecessary permissions.

These situations speak to two issues: Apps that demand permissions that they don’t need, and “smart” and internet of things devices that make formerly simple tasks very complicated, and open up potential privacy and security concerns. […] It’s unclear why apps that are designed to let you set the type of washing cycle you want, or see how long it’s gonna take for the dryer to be done, would need access to your phone’s contacts. In an FAQ for another Samsung app, the company says it needs access to contacts “to check if you already have a Samsung account set up in your device. Knowing this information helps mySamsung to make the sign-in process seamless.” The report recommends using a newer app called SmartThings App, “which has less invasive permission requirements compared to the older apps.” The SmartThings app doesn’t list any required permissions, indicating that “you can use the app without optional permissions, but some functions may be limited.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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