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I recently got an notification for the latest Google Maps update 9.1.1. With this update, the app asks for 2 new access rights: Phone and Device ID and call information.

After checking the changelog, I cannot connect the need for those 2 permissions with the new features introduced.

Changelog:

  • Dynamic Routing Around Closures
  • Quick Facts cards on Points of Interest with time and weather
  • Bug fixes

After reading what an app can do with this permissions (read my call log, start phone calls, read the remote number of an active call), it doesn't feel right to simply give permission to use it without knowing what the actual benefit is.

I checked the Google Maps webpage and did a search on Google, but couldn't find any explanation for this new access permissions.

Can anyone tell me what this permissions are used for, or point me to a source where I can verify the use of these rights?

  • Well I just accepted the permissions because its Google. – MANI Dec 5 '14 at 12:11
  • @Mani - blind obedience, that's exactly what Google wants…BAA!! BAA!! (the sound sheep make) – HasH_BrowN Dec 6 '14 at 15:17
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I agree, I see no obvious reason for these permissions to be added based on the change log.

Yes I can invent some reasons that maybe it "needs" them for one feature or another (clicking restaurant near you and calling from the app directly).

But the point here is that there is no explanation. It is dead wrong for Google to behave this way, as it causes behaviour of "default acceptance" in all future cases. Including non Google ones.

Just like the windows pop-ups... this application is asking for "internet"... you have no choice but to say yes, and frankly no way to find out why.

Now, today, you are basically as secure as if there were no permissions at all. Every app needs everything, and everyone just clicks yes.

Well done to everyone.

protected by Community May 10 '15 at 23:25

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