Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science

First Advisor

Carol Fung


In current Android architecture, users have to decide whether an app is safe to use or not. Expert users can make savvy decisions to avoid unnecessary private data breach. However, the majority of regular users are not technically capable or do not care to consider privacy implications to make safe decisions. To assist the technically incapable crowd, we propose a permission control framework based on crowdsourcing. At its core, our framework runs new apps under probation mode without granting their permission requests up-front. It provides recommendations on whether to accept or not the permission requests based on decisions from peer expert users. To seek expert users, we propose an expertise rating algorithm using a transitional Bayesian inference model. The recommendation is based on aggregated expert responses and their confidence level. As a complete framework design of the system, this thesis also includes a solution for Android app risks estimation based on behaviour analysis. To eliminate the negative impact from dishonest app owners, we also proposed a bot user detection to make it harder to utilize false recommendations through bot users to impact the overall recommendations. This work also covers a multi-view permission notification design to customize the app safety notification interface based on users' need and an app recommendation method to suggest safe and usable alternative apps to users.


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