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Report of Finding on App Permissions Released by OPC

December 10, 2014

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada ("OPC") released a Report of Finding yesterday on app permissions.  The investigation arose from a complaint regarding an update for the Google Search App on the Android Platform.  The complainant alleged that by requiring that "permissions" be accepted in order to use the updated app, Google was forcing him to consent to the collection of personal information beyond that required to fulfil the purposes of the app's functionality.  The OPC found the complaint not well-founded on the basis that:

The act of granting app permissions does not, by itself, equate to consent for the collection, use or disclosure of associated personal information.  In particular, this was because the permissions system did not describe Google's actual collection and use of information via the App.

... Google was not requiring consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information beyond that which was necessary for the App's broad range of functions.

We will be discussing this Report of Finding on our next monthly privacy call which will take place on December 17, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. EST. Please visit our events page to sign up for the December monthly privacy call and for more information on all upcoming events.

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