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Studying users’ adaptation to Android's run-time fine-grained access control system

Andriotis, Panagiotis; Stringhini, Gianluca; Sasse, Angela


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Dr Panos Andriotis
Senior Lecturer in Computer Forensics and Security

Gianluca Stringhini

Angela Sasse


© 2018 Elsevier Ltd The advent of the sixth Android version brought a significant security and privacy advancement to its users. The platform's security model has changed dramatically, allowing users to grant or deny access to resources when requested by applications during run-time. This improvement changed the traditional coarse-grained permission system and it was anticipated for a long time by privacy-aware users. In this paper, we present a pilot study that aims to analyze how Android users adapted to the run-time permission model. We gathered anonymous data from 52 participants, who downloaded an application we developed and answered questions related to the run-time permission model. Their answers suggest that most of them positively accepted the new model. We also collected data that describe users’ permission settings for each installed application on their devices. Our analysis shows that individuals make consistent choices regarding the resources they allow to various applications to access. In addition, the results of this pilot study showcase that on a second data collection round (occurred one month after the first phase of our experiments), 50% of the respondents did not change a single permission on their devices and only 2.26% of installed applications (on average) presented altered permission settings.


Andriotis, P., Stringhini, G., & Sasse, A. (2018). Studying users’ adaptation to Android's run-time fine-grained access control system. Journal of Information Security and Applications, 40, 31-43.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 11, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 13, 2018
Publication Date Jun 1, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 13, 2019
Journal Journal of Information Security and Applications
Electronic ISSN 2214-2126
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Pages 31-43
Keywords privacy, Android, usability, acceptance, controls, permissions
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