The LoyalTree app for Android has several app requirements, most of which sound invasive. We wanted to clarify what they all really mean and why we have each requirement.
Requirement to "directly call phone numbers & read phone status and identity"
- what it DOESN'T mean: that the app is accessing your directory or would ever directly call phone numbers in your contact list
- what it DOES mean: the app allows you to contact a business directly from the "Locations" tab- this is why we need the ability to "read phone status and identity." That just means that we can enable you to call a business directly through the app.
Requirement to "take pictures and videos"
- what it DOESN'T mean: the app will take pictures or videos, or access your photo albums
- what it DOES mean: the app needs access to the camera in order to scan QR codes on the bottom of receipts
Requirement to "approximate or precise location"
- what it DOESN'T mean: that LoyalTree is tracking the location and storing historical GPS data in our database
- what it DOES mean: that LoyalTree can populate the "Discover" tab with other participating LoyalTree business around you, based on your current GPS location (again- historical location data is NOT beings stored anywhere)
Requirement to "modify or delete the contents of your USB storage" and "read the contents of your USB storage"
- what this DOESN'T mean: that LoyalTree is reading any files stored on your phone or SD card other than LoyalTree itself; that LoyalTree can modify or delete anything at all on your phone or SD card.
- what this DOES mean: some peoples phones have low amounts of storage, and are not able to house the app without an SD card. This requirement allows the phone to communicate with the SD card in order to run the app. When it says it's "reading the contents of your USB storage" this means that your phone is reading the contents of the LoyalTree app off of the SD card in order to run it properly on the phone. Storage modification has to do with how much room is left on the phone or the SD card-- we will never, have never and have no need to or permission to modify or delete anything on your phone or SD card.
Requirement to "find accounts on the device/read Google service configuration"
- what it means: since LoyalTree is able to connect with Twitter or Facebook, the app needs to be able to find those accounts on a user's device in order to connect with them. I'm still looking into what "Google service configuration" is-- based on my Googling, it looks like it has to do with the app's ability to connect to the Google Play store, likely to know when app updates are ready.
Requirement to "full network access; receive data from Internet; view network connections"
- what it means: these are all different ways the app can connect to the internet or a 3G/4G connect, AKA "data." As with most apps, LoyalTree needs to be connected to the internet through a Wifi network or data connection. We have to be able to see what connections are available/strongest in order to work the best.
Requirement to "control vibration" or "prevent phone from sleeping"
- what it DOESN'T mean: that the app will prevent the phone from sleeping when not in use
- what it DOES mean: the app can prevent the phone from sleeping while it is in use