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An Empirical Study on the Impact of Permission Smell in Android Applications

  • Journal of The Korea Society of Computer and Information
  • Abbr : JKSCI
  • 2021, 26(6), pp.89-96
  • DOI : 10.9708/jksci.2021.26.06.089
  • Publisher : The Korean Society Of Computer And Information
  • Research Area : Engineering > Computer Science
  • Received : May 11, 2021
  • Accepted : May 26, 2021
  • Published : June 30, 2021

Wu Zhiqiang 1 Hakjin Lee 1 Scott Uk-Jin Lee 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we proposed a sniffer to detect permission smells from developer and third-party libraries' code. Moreover, we conducted an empirical study to investigate unnecessary permissions on large real-world Android apps. Our analysis indicates that permission smell extensively exists in Android apps. According to the results, permission smells exist in most Android apps. In particular, third-party libraries request permission for functionalities that are not used by developers, which cause more smells. Moreover, most developers do not properly disable unnecessary permissions that are declared for third-party libraries. We discussed the impacts of permission smells on user experiences. As a result, the existence of permission smell does not impact the number of downloads. However, apps that have more unnecessary permissions have received lower ratings from users.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.