PhillipBlanton.com

"Save me, oh God, from people who have no sense of humor."
— Ludlow Porch

Stitcher is abusing its "Player Controls" permission to show ads.

I just got a "notification" on my Pixel XL phone. It was from Stitcher and it was the normal "Player Controls" that are allowed in the notification area when you're playing a podcast, except this time it was for an audio program that was clearly marked as an ad for something called "Threedom".

I immediately checked the app's ability to send me notifications, and noticed that the permission it apparently used was "Player Controls" which it used to provide podcast controls in the notification area, which is useful. If Stitcher is going to abuse that permission to show un-wanted ads, then it will be a fatal error in their judgement and the application is going to be DELETED.

I know that Stitcher is free, and if the product is free, then you're the product; but abusing a permission to slide an ad into the user's notifications is NOT OK. Free or not.

   
 

Admittedly, this is a knee-jerk reaction. I have no proof that Stitcher is doing anything untoward. I recently downloaded a photo montage app that behaved normally for exactly one week, then started tossing full page ads up over my phone's home screen even when the app wasn't running. Luckily for me, I don't install apps very often so I knew EXACTLY which app was the offender. I deleted it and ripped it a deservedly bad review.

My daughter has the same phone as I do, and is plagued by ads that cover her phone all the time. Since she installs apps often, she has no idea which app is the offender. My knee-jerk reaction to this perceived slight by Stitcher may be an overreaction based on these events, but I will be keeping an eye on the app's behavior.