In the latest update to Pocket Legends, Spacetime Studios added a new permission which was the ‘Read Contacts Data’ permission. This was because Spacetime Studios implemented a new feature into the game through the Nexus hub which allowed players to refer a friend to the game and in turn earn Platinum, the in-game currency.
Unfortunately, a lot of players had concerns over this new permission that they were being asked to accept and a lot of players started leaving 1-star ratings, complaining about how their personal data is being read and all sorts of other things like having said data being sold. Spacestime Studios addressed this issue in a forum post explaining how the permission works and that, in fact, it does not read any of your personal data or contacts list until you refer a friend to the game. Obviously at this point, the game would need to access the information from your contact list about the friend you are referring to the game in order to actually send the referral over to them.
We do not mine, nor store your contact list. Access to the contacts list is an Android permission we must request in order to present you with a list of which contact you’d like to refer in the case of referrals for Platinum. If you don’t use the referrals in the Nexus, it won’t be read.
We have also spoken to Spacetime Studios ourselves and they have ensured us that this is all true. However, in light of all the concerns players have been posting about regarding this new permission in the update, this refer-a-friend feature will be rolled back and will be removed from Pocket Legends. This means that this permission will no longer be available nor will you need to agree to it. This was stated in a follow-up thread on the Pocket Legends forum which states:
With the 1.7.4 Pocket Legends client, released on October 17, 2011, we have improved the game Refer-a-Friend functionality to allow you to browse your contacts to conveniently send friend requests. Previously, you would have to type in your friends e-mail address or connect via Facebook and send invites to your Facebook contacts. Given the privacy concerns over this issue, we are in the process of removing this new functionality so that the App does not access your device’s contact information.
While there is nothing wrong with being concerned over your Android devices security and your personal information, we also have to take into account what that permission is and will be used for before we condemn a company for using permissions we do not usually see asked to accept. I actually wrote an editorial about permissions on Android and I think the overall theme applies perfectly to this and I invite you to read it should you still have concerns over permissions.
Developer Website: Spacetime Studios