The app doesn't want to use SD card

App version: 5.0.2 (Android)

The “use SDCard” option is on but the app still uses the phone’s memory. When the memory is staffed, the app just stops taking photos when there are 64 gigs on SD card. Moreover, the phone starts to work very slowly.

When the new uploader on Android simply doesn’t upload, there is no way to free the phone’s memory. Maybe it is better not to experiment with new apps or test them better.

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And look at the latest version 5.0.3, they threw this option out completely (at least it disappeared for me), although it didn’t work anyway …

Yep, it disappeared in 5.0.3. Maybe they want to fix it and return the option when it really works…

We had to remove SD card support for privacy/security reasons. We want to bring it back, if possible. We need to get approval to do so though, and these processes are unfortunately slow, and in the end, they may say no. Fingers crossed!

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Can you explain ? Who is the BIG BROTHER that prevents ME to take pictures in the street with MY mobil phone and store them in MY sd card ?
Till I upload to Mapillary My photos, I own them, and I have the full legal rights on them.
Even in the possession of Mapillary, I have the Copyrights of that photos

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I’m not familiar with the details, but my guess is that it’s possible for malicious apps to access unprotected data on the SD card and do shady things without your knowing.

If, by any chance, that can be truth, I am the owner of the mobil phone and the photos.
It is not Mapillary fault if that happens, so do not try to protect me from myself…preventing me to use the SD card.

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If you download your picture it is blurred and without exif.
That is reason enough to stop contributing.

So, I go on holdiday for three weeks, and can not store images from the mapillary app on my sd-card anymore?
Ofcourse my phone memory is full after 3 hours driving, so how in the world can people use the app if they make a longer trip ?

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My phone memory is full. Mapillary app says “Upload in progress”. And it’s showing it forever. What should I do? How do I free the phone’s memory? I cannot even use my phone because it is constantly asking to free some memory.

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Sounds like the i****** from Mapillary don´t know, what they´re talking about.
Anders says “We want to bring it back, if possible”
Chris Beddow writes me in a mail “We currently have disabled storage on the SD card since it is a security risk to the app, and have no current plan to change this.”
Are you thinking, your users are stupid robots?

The problems are

No web-uploader
No function at desktop-uploader
An app with no chance to use sd-card

So take your stuff and place it there, where the sun never shines!

My journey with Mapillary ends here.

Here is the whole mail from Mapillary (my question was “How to save the photos of a longer journey, when I can´t use sd-card and have only 8 gb free memory on my phone!”)

Chris Beddow (Mapillary)

Jul 8, 2021, 8:17 PM GMT+2

Hi Norbert,

  1. No, we are not intentionally trying to make it difficult for users to upload. The Google Play store requires that we submit a new app when we change the security certificates, which we upgraded, and would not allow us to simply update the app. Apple store alternatively allows this with no issue. We adhere to the requirements of Google Play in this case for Android apps.
  2. We currently have disabled storage on the SD card since it is a security risk to the app, and have no current plan to change this. I am making a note of your request however in case it helps demonstrate the demand. Read here more about the risk, where photos captured on Mapillary but not blurred for privacy would be available to others apps on the phone: https://gizmodo.com/terrifying-camera-app-flaw-left-millions-of-android-pho-1839958522

best,

Chris

The article in Chris’ mail is misleading. This has nothing to do with normal apps having normal access to SD card contents. This deals with a specific issue, that was already patched:

Google issued a patch for the flaw via a Play Store update back in July, and a patch was then distributed to all Android partners.

That SD “issue” described in the article does not really apply: With blurred pics, any rogue app would have access to the same data it could afterwards access freely online. Including locations (which the article specifically worries about)
If those pics were not blurred, what additional info would that rogue app get?
Some faces of strangers’ and some car number plates?
That would be a problem if you could do that at scale, for all uploaded pics at once, or at least for an arbitrary pic on mapillary. But it’s only for that one user who is attacked, and I bet there is much more interesting info on his SD card than that.

The real privacy threat with unblurred pictures is not local storage, but uploading them unblurred to facebook. Where facebook themselves or blackmailed by some rogue 3-letter-agency could analyze them before blurring.

In the most benevolent interpretation, the mapillary team is using that fake SD threat to get funding for on-device blurring to underhandedly counter said real threat.
In the most evil interpretation, facebook wants to close up mapillary and thus needs to make sure pictures are never accessible outside their control.
In the most bland interpretation, there’s just some clueless middle manager somewhere in the command chain who needs some weird privacy checklist item checked.

1 Like

100% agree
I add just one Thought: Mapillary arguments seems to indicate that Mapillary team thinks that photos taken with Mapillary app belong to Mapillary, and does not belong to us.
Is the only reason to have so strange security concerns.
It seems that Mapillary wants “to protect me from myself or from my photos”.
May I repeat what I ve writen some messages above ?
Who is the BIG BROTHER that prevents ME to take pictures in the street with MY mobil phone and store them in MY sd card ?
Till I upload to Mapillary My photos, I own them, and I have the full legal rights on them.
Even in the possession of Mapillary, I have the Copyrights of that photos

Best Regards
Filohipo

Dear Chris,
First, thank you for pointing out (the obvious …) that Google, Apple and Windows stores have their own requirements before apps can be made available.
Then, thank you for the link to the gizmodo article, it confirms an even greater prvacy concern than I assumed.
By the way, the link under the url shown includes what looks like a redirect from an email address, which results in an error message when viewing the article.
Best,

‘a security risk to the app, and have no current plan to change this’

what a joke.

Assume they follow the most strict privacy “rulez” they could find, team should at least make a f*ckin encrypted sd-card storage possible. Otherwise the app is doomed, its not a workable app for a trip longer than a day

Well, the problem is that my main phone, that I use for Mapillary, only has about 2-4GB free space internally at any one time. My 400GB SD card has ~250GB free most of the time. So…my ability to contribute photos in the future is kinda gone without the ability to store on SD card.

–jack

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The Android 8.1 tablet, checked it for security updates last night, was last updated in Feb.'19; so that wouldn’t be patched. also, reading android 10 and 11 comparisons notice that some form of storage access limitation will be available once android 11 (it is promised … ) arrives at my companion’s ‘late 2020-vintage’ Motorola smartphone : it then seems sensible, given the careless attitude of manufacturers to security and other updates, to use some measure to protect what’s on my tablet of 'phone? Far as I can make out, a roque app could access any file, including like a company’s quarterly report before publication or whatever.
Hence thunbs up to android and mapillary for pre-emptively thwarting such attempts.

Such care for privacy - :rofl:
Mapillary cookie policy use

For me, this means the end of my contribution to Mapillary for now. Only when I can save the photos I took with my own phone for my own use will I consider contributing again.

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I think you misunderstood Mapillary position. Their application is a such bunch of safety holes that a remote attacker can easily get control over the Mapillary application and, if Mapillary app has access to the SD card, read all your valuable data incl. sex tape that you stored on the SD card, even if they were not recorded using Mappilary. :sweat_smile: