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Saturday, September 21 • 12:15pm - 12:50pm
Apps, Code, Culture, and Market Reform: Examining Influences on Android Permissions in the United States, South Korea, and Germany

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Access control via permissions is an important aspect of operating systems help app developers and users handle privacy and security aspects. As such, linking changes in app permission requests with the external landscape of privacy and data protection regulations could be a potential technique for studying the impact of these policies. To this end, we collected the top free Android apps in three categories (Social, Lifestyle, and Ages 5 and Under) across three countries (US, Germany, and South Korea) before and after the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. Our analyses comparing pre-GDPR and post-GDPR app permission requests showed that permissions that impact privacy and security did not increase after the GDPR went into effect despite an increase in requests for other permissions. We further found no notable post-GDPR differences in permission requests across the three targeted countries despite jurisdictional differences in privacy regulations. The findings indicated that strict and comprehensive regulations in a major global market, such as the EU GDPR, is thus likely to harden the privacy and security of apps even for those that are outside its jurisdiction. Our findings further show that a longitudinal analysis of permission requests could be a useful tool for gauging the influence of privacy and data protection regulations.


BC Kim

University of Alabama


Jonatha Schubauer

Indiana University Bloomington

David Argast

Indiana University Bloomington

Jean Camp

Indiana University Bloomington

Sameer Patil

Indiana University Bloomington

Saturday September 21, 2019 12:15pm - 12:50pm PDT
Y402 WCL, 4300 Nebraska Ave, Washington, DC