Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Feb 2013 08:21 UTC
Google "Sebastian Holst makes yoga mobile apps with his wife, a yoga instructor. The Mobile Yogi is sold in all the major mobile app stores. But when someone buys his app in the Google Play store, Holst automatically gets something he says he didn't ask for: the buyer's full name, location and email address. He says consumers are not aware that Google Inc. is sharing their personal information with third parties. No other app store transmits users' personal information to third-party developers when they buy apps, he said." Oh Google.
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Why do merchants *need* this information? I can understand why the merchant would like to have it, but it's not really technically any better than a discrete transaction id for the purposes of identifying the payment.

"How do you ask for a refund, if you don't provide that information."

A transaction id or account number is just as accurate for this purpose. The only reason I can think of to have email/location/name is for vendor to initiate contact with the user, not the other way around. This may be innocent and even desirable, like getting emails about software updates. However IMHO *all* email subscriptions should be opt-in. Vendors have no need for an email address which they'll never use, and (hopefully) they'll never use an email address which they haven't gotten permission to use.

This whole shenanigan is easily rectified by simply prompting the user's email address at the time of purchase using google's records for defaults. This way there would be no non-consensual privacy violations and the user gets to choose what information gets shared.

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