Detecting Wearable App Permission Mismatches: A Case Study on Android Wear

Conference proceedings talk at The ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), Paderborn, Germany

Abstract: Wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular. These wearable devices run what is known as wearable apps. Wearable apps are packaged with handheld apps, that must be installed on the accompanying handheld device (e.g., phone). Given that wearable apps are tightly coupled with the handheld apps, any wearable permission must also be requested in the handheld version of the app on the Android Wear platform. However, in some cases, the wearable apps may request permissions that do not exist in the handheld app, resulting in a permission mismatch, and causing the wearable app to error or crash. In this paper, we propose a technique to detect wear app permission mismatches. We perform a case study on 2,409 free Android Wear apps and find that 73 released wearable apps suffer from the permission mismatch problem.

DOI: 10.1145/3106237.3121279