In Brief

You never know what your apps are trying to do behind your back, a filmmaker shows

Any writer knows: there’s nothing like reading something out loud to uncover meanings that you never noticed before, or, if you wrote the thing yourself, intended. A similar rule goes for app permissions, which for many smartphone users don’t even get enumerated in one place. Instead, in the case of iOS, you might get randomly asked about them, in ways that either make sense (Instagram using your camera) or don’t (some news website is using your location data!?).

A filmmaker named Ivan Cash, working in partnership with Silent Circle and the creators of the “NSA-proof” Blackphone, decided to use a little man-in-the-street reportage to discover just what people have been agreeing to these days. He said in an email:

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