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Why Do Applications Request My Contacts Data? A Large-Scale Study on Openness and Control of User Contacts Permission in Android Mobile Applicaitons Marketplace

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To understand the value of data transfer, this paper uses consumers’ contact information in mobile application that resides in their mobile devices as a proxy to evaluate the value of user data to application developer and platform owner. Based on a data set of 567,730 Android mobile applications, our research results show that using user contacts can increase application popularity, enable developer to become more influential, and have a positive effect on developers’ productivity when developing future applications. In addition to examining the use and access of a consumers extending contact information on their device, we broaden our research to examine the context and appropriateness of using this information in the context of privacy, and to a less extent education. We conclude our research with a summary of guidance to developers, consumerss, and platform owners in order to maintain a healthy application ecosystem.


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