I've downloaded an application that wasn't in Google Play (private developer) for testing purposed. Part of the assignment is for me to send them back some information about my device (auto-generated, I just hit send). However, I noticed before sending the email that there was an attachment. I sent it to myself first so I could look at it on my computer and saw it was all of my contacts and the information I had of them, such as phone numbers, names, etc.

Is this something the developer legitly needs? The application can call other people, so that may be why they need it, but I don't understand why they need it. Should I send it to them?

2 Answers 2


Definitly not! That's nothing like what a developer needs. And a developer requiring you to send that I'd avoid in the future as well. All that might be needed can be provided by e.g. adb bugreport (which is the most comprehensive data collection known to me to be useful for a developer concerning his development). Requesting all your addresses is harvesting, and rather used for spamming.

TL;DR: I would NOT send that information. You might contact that dev and ask for an explanation, and then maybe decide different. But I cannot believe this being a "mistake" or simply "carelessness".

  • The developers replied back saying only the the names of the contacts are needed, and everything else would be deleted. They required the names to improve the algorithm for calling people (it's one of those Sire-like apps). Still, I deleted all of the phone numbers before sending them in, just to be safe.
    – Tanner
    Feb 27, 2013 at 2:22
  • Well, still heavy load. If a dev collects sensitive data, he should point this out before the user accidentally detects it. And not only say "Ah, btw, we copied your contacts' data", but exactly say what they need it for -- and even tell you how to optionally erase the parts not required (phone numbers, mail addresses etc. in your case). Grabbing those data silently simply is not serious, and sheds a bad light of not being trustworthy.
    – Izzy
    Feb 27, 2013 at 6:57

NO. There is no reason why an app would need all your contacts.

It's possible that contact information might be useful, if the app does anything to the information about the contact. For example, the app might want to format the phone number (for aesthetic purposes), because it could be saved in many ways (e.g. +639171234567, 09171234567).

They might also be interested in how many contact numbers you have for that person. How would they handle such scenario if you called the person? Would they use the first number or the second number?

If you know the person developing the app (or even if you don't), the best way would be to ask them what they need it for.

But the bottomline is: NO, they should never have to need ALL of your contacts.

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