Why I Uninstalled ES File Explorer

This is why I decided to permanently uninstall this incredibly popular file management software.

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What is ES File Explorer?

ES File Explorer used to be the go-to file browser when Android was still young. It was a no-frills way to manage your files and have more freedom over your device. Recently though, the popular file management application has gone through many changes. Its interface became flashier, there are many ads, as well as useless features such as a way for your device to charge faster. Many of these annoyances could be overlooked or disabled. The application also had a few very useful features such as an easy way to transfer files over Wi-Fi.

Why did I Uninstall it?

You may be asking, why did you uninstall this application? That’s because this file manager added a new permission to its lengthy permission requests. You would think a file manager should only need access to, your files. However, the device asks for things such as Device and App history as well as Device ID and Call Information. Many of these are shady however they crossed the line by now requesting my “Identity”. Google describes the request for identity as “Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, and profile data”. I do not feel that I file manager should be asking for any of this information. My other question is what are they using this data for?

My additional fear is that over 100 million people use ES File Explorer (as per the current Play Store statistics). How many people are just skipping past these warnings of invasion of privacy? There may be times where you just click through these permission requests. This may lead you to miss an important piece of information such as this. I’ve done it in the past, however I know I will be more vigilant of what permissions applications are requesting. I hope that you will all look at what information your applications want from you and whether that information is necessary for that application should have.

What can you do to protect yourself?

As of Android 7.0 you can manage exactly what permissions applications have access to. You can turn these permissions on and off whenever you want to. This may make applications not work as described, however there is probably a reason you didn’t want that device having some permission you unchecked. I hope that you’ll look at your applications and manage what these apps have access to. Take control of your phone and your information. You have a right to.

Example of Permission Management in Android 8.0

 

What are your thoughts on this topic? Let me know in the comments below if an application has asked for some permissions you didn’t think it should have.

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