At the outset, let's keep one important point in mind: no AppArmor custom mobile safety app stores personal data of any kind. We have no interest in that information, we don't store it, and in no way are we accessing your phone on a regular basis.
We are committed to protecting both your privacy and anonymity in the use of a mobile safety application.
Understanding Safety App Permissions
We believe that it's great that users are careful about managing their digital identity. Occasionally we or our institutional partners get questions from users on why the safety app requires so many different permissions. To that end, we've listed out the various permissions so you can understand why they are needed for your custom mobile safety app.
We do not capture any personally identifiable information without your consent. Only the generic device ID is gathered so that your download of the app can be associated with your Google Play/AppStore/Blackberry World account. The AppStore company takes that information so they can track your downloads from their AppStore. Also, if you choose to subscribe to push notifications, your device ID is used to associate your phone to receive the notifications.
Location services features are available in the app. That is, you can "send you location" to another user or campus security/police. This is not something however which is always running; this is only running when its triggered by the user. We are otherwise not tracking any users location at any time.
Media Permissions (Photos/Videos/Files)
Similar to the previous permission, the access to photos/media/files only relates to when the "report suspicious activity" or "send a photo to security" features are used. What happens is that the app will (again, only with your permission AND only when you use that feature) access your camera so you can take a photo to send to security. The app then grabs that photo from the storage on the device and attaches it to an email which is directed to go to security. We are not accessing these files at any other times.
Same as the previous note on Media Permissions. The Camera is only used for reporting and flashlight features. Then and only then. We do not access the camera at any other time. Period.
WiFi Connection Information Permissions
The security/police department at your school can actually send mass notifications called "pushes". Push notifications go over the WiFi network, so the app simply looks and sees if you're connected to WiFi so it can know if you'll receive that message or not. As well, the app periodically updates with new information and content - this also requires that WiFi connection.
Device ID and Call Information Permissions
The Device ID is an identifying number for your device. Most apps require this so they can "tie" the app to your phone. The call information is only in the scenario where you try to use the emergency contacts to make an emergency call to security. The app will "auto-populate" the call information field with campus security's number; that's why it requires the call information access.
The long and short of all this is that nothing is happening unless the user allows it. These are simply permissions. Nothing happens without user consent, ever. We're also not storing your information at any time.
If after all this you still feel uneasy, you don't necessarily have to download the safety app. While you have no reason to be concerned, we can definitely respect that decision as well.