It turns out that Android also allows applications to upload photos.
A Google spokesperson told me:
“We originally designed the Android photos file system similar to those of other computing platforms like Windows and Mac OS. At the time, images were stored on a SD card, making it easy for someone to remove the SD card from a phone and put it in a computer to view or transfer those images.
As phones and tablets have evolved to rely more on built-in, non-removable memory, we’re taking another look at this and considering adding a permission for apps to access images. We’ve always had policies in place to remove any apps on Android Market that improperly access your data.”
The problem here is best exemplified by the Mac vs. PC ad you see above. If you ask permission every time an app needs to do something that could potential violate privacy, it gets pretty messy and it ends up:
“a future where it takes 10 minutes to open your Facebook app.”