Analyzing confidentiality and privacy concerns: insights from Android issue logs
Licorish, S; MacDonell, SG; Clear, T
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Context: Post-release user feedback plays an integral role in improving software quality and informing new features. Given its growing importance, feedback concerning security enhancements is particularly noteworthy. In considering the rapid uptake of Android we have examined the scale and severity of Android security threats as reported by its stakeholders. Objective: We systematically mine Android issue logs to derive insights into stakeholder perceptions and experiences in relation to certain Android security issues. Method: We employed contextual analysis techniques to study issues raised regarding confidentiality and privacy in the last three major Android releases, considering covariance of stakeholder comments, and the level of consistency in user preferences and priorities. Results: Confidentiality and privacy concerns varied in severity, and were most prevalent over Jelly Bean releases. Issues raised in regard to confidentiality related mostly to access, user credentials and permission management, while privacy concerns were mainly expressed about phone locking. Community users also expressed divergent preferences for new security features, ranging from more relaxed to very strict. Conclusions: Strategies that support continuous corrective measures for both old and new Android releases would likely maintain stakeholder confidence. An approach that provides users with basic default security settings, but with the power to configure additional security features if desired, would provide the best balance for Android's wide cohort of stakeholders.