Friday, September 4, 2015

SmartThings and expanding Mobile App permissions - privacy going the wrong direction

I've been using SmartThings home automation controller since basically it's release to the public last year.  There have been some growing pains with the system - some of it due to my learning curve, and some due to bugs that they have generally fixed fairly quickly.

This morning I was faced with a very difficult decision regarding their mobile apps.  Major update coming down the tubes from their system to all my mobile devices, along with a big red flag.

This app requires (new) additional permissions:  Contacts and Wi-Fi Connection Status.

I get the Wi-Fi status thing.  But Contacts?   Ummm . . . no.

To their credit I received a very quick response when I posted a complaint on their forum - but it was to explain why they needed this new permission. 

"Contacts access allows greatly improved notification options for SmartApps like Smart Home Monitor. "

I remain unconvinced. 

Sadly, I may have to change my controller.  Worse, this controller was one of the few (if not the only) that provided a mobile app for all three platforms:  iOS, Android and Windows mobile.  I really hate losing that cross platform compatibility.

For now I intend to defer the update and wait and see how long the old version of their App works until I'm cut off.  Perhaps they will change this in the near future.  If not . . . back to research mode for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome but moderated to prevent spam links. I usually check them at least once a day in the evenings - so please be patient with me if your comment does not appear quickly.

Thank you.