10 September 2018

'CB Talk' App Privacy Concerns



You may have heard about the new Midland 'CB Talk' app which has been launched this week which basically allows you to use your mobile phone as a pseudo CB Radio using VOIP instead of actual radio transmissions. 


It is not the first app to work in this fashion, indeed Zello has been around for ages.


The app is a great idea, however, those of you with privacy concerns may like to know that the 'CB Talk' app requires you to allow access to many features on your phone... LOCATION, MAKE AND MANAGE PHONECALLS, RECORD AUDIO, ACCESS YOUR CONTACTS and YOUR PHONE NUMBER.






It's not unusual for apps to ask for permission to access phone features and it's not unreasonable to allow access to your microphone if you want to talk to someone on an app like this, however this app refuses to function if you deny ANY of it's requests.


So you may wish to use the app to talk to people near you, which of course means you need to allow the app to access location data and have access to your phone's microphone, that's fine as the app couldn't possibly function without these permissions BUT being required to give access to your phone's contact list and your own phone number seems a bit excessive to me. Maybe the app simply cannot function without these permissions but the app could have been designed to work without them I'm sure. 


So if you are happy to allow your private phone number and all of your contact list to be accessed well fine, but I guess I must be an old fuddy-duddy and it's a NO FROM ME! - (I'll stick to Zello, or better still.... REAL RADIO!)