The controversy with permissions never ends: as the key to the security of our smartphone, it is convenient to know how they act, what they do and how to grant them. Also how to revoke them, something that you have also tried sometime. You know: the slightest suspicion that an application is being overreached asking for access is best not to install it.

Flashlight applications are very controversial. On the one hand they are extremely simple: you press the icon and the LEDs light up; You press again and go off. This simplicity usually contrasts with the permissions they request, access to a camera included. In addition, there has always been much controversy surrounding these apps: malware problems in malicious flashlight applications are mythical.

With this background you will surely have seen the aforementioned camera access permit in the lantern applications that you have installed. Most of the time our mobile already has this software from the factory, but maybe you need to download it separately. And yes, camera access is imperative for a flashlight app to work. But why?

To turn on the mobile LEDs you need to access the camera flash

This is the basic explanation. To turn on the camera’s LEDs (unless you activate the maximum brightness of the screen), the flashlight application needs to access the camera to activate those LEDs. Hence there is logical confusion, but a flashlight application will not spy on you through the camera (or should not). The problem is that we have given it that permission, so it can do anything in that area.

The permit in question is the access to camera. The user granting said permission to the applications, grants them the right to access the image capture and also audio. That is, it gives permission for the app to access everything the camera implies; Including the LED flash, which is the function to which the flashlight is directed.

Google has not separated the use of LEDs from camera functions, so all flashlight applications need such permission to fulfill their function. As we know, this is delicate, although we can solve it by removing another key permission: access to storage. Although the flashlight application can access the camera, it will be unable to record anything because it can not save what it captures.