Exploring the Implications of Permission Changes and Users’ Needs in Google Play Store
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Smartphones in the recent years have become the ubiquitous devices that offer diverse sets of functionalities and supplant the use of traditional computers. It becomes apart of people’s everyday life. Android uses a permission system that put the burden mainly on users to detect any invasive apps. Past research should when users cannot understand the presented warnings, they tend historically to make poor privacy and security decisions. This thesis discusses the implication of permission changes, users’ needs and concerns on the Google Play Store. I conducted an observation study with semi- structured interviews followed by a post-online questionnaire to seek broader understating of how users interact and select application from the Google Play Store and the factors that they consider when installing an app. How users are currently viewing permissions and are they aware of the existence “Permission Details” Icon. Two classifications were used to analyze the data. Novice versus advanced users and the Westin’ metric index. Our results showed that only 8% of the population was aware of the “Permission Details” Icon. Users are now more aware of permissions than before but still they explanations. We found that the Westin’s metric showed a stronger relationship with various security measures better than using the novices versus advanced users’ classification based on security courses. We found that the more security courses the users’ took, the lower their score in the Westin’s metric are. Future work will expand the scope of this thesis to include more diverse populations.