Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Computer Science

First Advisor

Carol Fung

Second Advisor

Eyuphan Bulut

Third Advisor

Carl Elks


Mobile and web application security, particularly concerning the area of data privacy, has received much attention from the public in recent years. Most applications are installed without disclosing full information to users and clearly stating what they have access to. This often raises concerns when users become aware of unnecessary information being collected or stored. Unfortunately, most users have little to no technical knowledge in regard to what permissions should be granted and can only rely on their intuition and past experiences to make relatively uninformed decisions. DroidNet, a crowdsource based Android recommendation tool and framework, is a proposed avenue for the technically incapable. DroidNet alleviates privacy concerns and presents users with permission recommendations of high confidence based on the decisions from expert users on the network who are using the same applications. The framework combines an interactive user interface, used for data collection and presenting permission recommendations to users, with a transitional Bayesian inference model and multiple algorithms used for rating users based on their respective expertise levels. As a result, the recommendations that are provided to users are based on aggregated expert responses and their confidence levels. This work presents the completed DroidNet project in its entirety, including the implementation of the application, algorithms, and user interface itself. Additionally, this thesis presents and utilizes a unique collection of real-world data from actual Android users. The primary goal of this work is to evaluate the effectiveness and accuracy of DroidNet's recommendations and to show that regular mobile device users can benefit from crowdsourcing.


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