GOOGLE IS REPORTEDLY ROLLING OVER and letting machines make the decisions on what makes a good app and what makes a bad app before they make their way onto the Google Play store.
The Verge reports that Google has been looking to employ more AI power in this direction and is using peer grouping of apps to sort out the rotten apples. For example, it suggests, why would anyone who was searching for a calculator want an application that will take phone book, location and microphone data along with it?
They would not, and a machine might be expected to know that and might be persuaded to keep this rogue calculator out of the major choices.
"Peer grouping is a pretty simple idea. By comparing data about apps that perform similar tasks, say Google's engineers, they can identify the ones with something to hide," it reports.
"If you're looking at a group of 20 calculator apps, for example, the app that is asking for permission to access your microphone, location, and phone book is probably up to no good. Google's new system flags it automatically, and security engineers then swoop in for a closer look."
Google spoke to The Verge about this, offering it an example that has a bit more zing about it than a blooming calculator.
"We focus on signals that can negatively affect user privacy, such as permission requests that are not related to core app functionality, and the actual, observed behaviours," said Martin Pelikan of Google's security and privacy team in an email.
"For example, a flashlight app might not need access to address book of the user or the precise hardware identifier of a user's phone. The same might hold for many other apps, such as ‘mirror' apps that turns on a device's front-facing camera." µ
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