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Fig2 Mehrnezhad Informatics2019 6-1.png

"What is this sensor and does this app need access to it?"

Mobile sensors have already proven to be helpful in different aspects of people’s everyday lives such as fitness, gaming, navigation, etc. However, illegitimate access to these sensors results in a malicious program running with an exploit path. While users are benefiting from richer and more personalized apps, the growing number of sensors introduces new security and privacy risks to end-users and makes the task of sensor management more complex. In this paper, we first discuss the issues around the security and privacy of mobile sensors. We investigate the available sensors on mainstream mobile devices and study the permission policies that Android, iOS and mobile web browsers offer for them. Second, we reflect on the results of two workshops that we organized on mobile sensor security. In these workshops, the participants were introduced to mobile sensors by working with sensor-enabled apps. We evaluated the risk levels perceived by the participants for these sensors after they understood the functionalities of these sensors. The results showed that knowing sensors by working with sensor-enabled apps would not immediately improve the users’ security inference of the actual risks of these sensors. However, other factors such as the prior general knowledge about these sensors and their risks had a strong impact on the users’ perception. (Full article...)

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