Australian government apps access smartmobe cams but ‘don’t film you’

Department of Human Services says its apps need cameras to deliver better services

By Richard Chirgwin, 4 May 2014

Australia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) says apparently-excessive permissions sought by its mobile apps are necessary for service delivery, and don’t put its customers’ privacy at risk.

Last week, The Register quizzed the department over broad permissions sought by self-service apps offered for various DHS services, including income support payments agency Centrelink, health care agency Medicare and family support payments.

Centrelink App asking for camera permission

Having noted a complaint by a Twitter user that asking for access to a phone’s camera “to take pictures and videos” seemed excessive, we checked out the permissions sought by the apps, as shown in the screen captures below.

In addition to seeking permission to use the camera, the apps ask for:

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