UPDATE (8/7/12): Third Party Modules and permissions have been removed from Knots 3D. See details in this post.
We are often asked why Knots 3D requires the following permissions on the Android platform:
- Full Internet access
- Read phone state and identity
Knots 3D actually does not use the Internet for anything once it is installed. The reason for the permissions is actually due to the underlying development framework. Knots 3D was developed using Corona SDK which was made by Ansca Mobile and is now known as Corona Labs. These permissions are included by default when the app is compiled and there is currently no easy way to remove them!
So why are they there at all? Good question. The programming framework (Corona SDK) sends statistics on usage (analytics) back to a server (coronalabs.com). I have disabled the calls but the permissions are still included when the app is built. Many developers in the Corona community have requested that these be optional and only included if the app actually uses the internet for something. Corona Labs has indicated they are looking at this issue (granted they have been looking at it for some time now).
Some other concerns are that the app is somehow “spying” on you and is what is known as spyware. This perception is due to packages included in Corona that report on statistics ie Flurry Analytics or are api’s into third party ecosystems such as the Facebook social network or Open Feint social gaming platform. Yes, these API’s exist in Corona but in the case of Knots 3D they are not used for anything — the libraries are simply included in the compiled binary. Let me state again — THEY ARE NOT USED! It is unfortunate that Corona includes these in the build of all apps using the Corona framework. If nothing else, it adds unnecessary bloat to the app size. Obviously it gives pause to those that wonder “what are these libraries and why should a knot app need access to the internet.” Rest assured, there is no nefarious plan to steal your data or give any information to marketers. In the next release (due out next month) I’ll add clarification to the app description regarding the permissions and modules. I think the app is unique and useful, but understand perceived privacy concerns and understand if someone doesn’t want to keep/download the app for that reason.
CoronaLabs.com discussion links regarding this issue:
If you have further concerns regarding Permissions, privacy and spyware not addressed above, please let us know on our support page: http://nynix.com/support/