A reader has some concerns about permissions associated with certain photo apps.

“I appreciate updates on invasive software. As a photo enthusiast, I worry about photo apps I download. Do you have any insight to those (Samsung 7 user). Plus, the photo apps seem very invasive of personal privacy and the info they collect on me as well as people in my address book – ostensibly to ‘make my experience better.’ Hm, I’m dubious.”

I could tell you more if you had a particular app in mind, but I can tell you that the reason most photo apps ask for permissions to access your address book is that they have sharing features that allow you to send messages to folks via text, email, and messaging apps. Obviously, the app wouldn’t be able to share the photo without accessing the necessary information to send the photo to the person.

But, did you know that you have control over individual permissions in Android apps? Here’s how to access them. Open Settings on your phone. Scroll down to Apps and tap to open.


Find the app in question. In this case, I’ll choose the photo app Instagram. Tap to open App options.


Scroll down to Permissions and tap to open.


Notice that you have control over individual permissions such as Contacts, Location, and text messages.  If you turn Camera off, you won’t be able to take photos within the Instagram app. If you shut off Microphone, you can’t record sound on video, and so on. But you can easily switch off Contacts.


If you look around the other apps, you’ll see similar options.