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What reasons should an app have to need my phone's International Mobile Equipment Identity number? I noticed that unreasonably many of ordinary apps have the "phone state and identity" permission. For example, Remember the Milk. What do they ask it for? Am I insufficiently paranoid?

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See this answer: android.stackexchange.com/a/3368/440 –  Flow Jan 3 '12 at 8:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Many apps use the IMEI for analytics purposes, for example counting users. Most tools like Google Analytics or Flurry need a unique ID per phone, so the IMEI fits quite well.

Note that this doesn't work on non-cellular platforms (like tablets), and the IMEI can also be faked: this is why some apps choose a different system (see this article).

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It's often used to identify the unique phone, but often this is actually quite a bad idea. Most apps would be better off identifying you as a user, who can use multiple different devices on one account.

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