UU AppPurifier, an app that allows you among other things to force privacy restrictions on applications that request too much, has been removed from Google Play.
The reason given was that it interferes with or accesses other applications in an unauthorized manner. You can’t really argue that an application that rips apart and repackages another application isn’t doing that, so it’s gone from Google Play but not gone from development or your ability to get it easily at the developer’s website.
This application lead to a rather fun discussion at work recently about whether this is what an Android and iOS virus is going to be in the future. An application that uninstalls and reinstalls a repackaged safe content to deliver a running unwanted application alongside a benign app.
Whatever the case, Google has been pretty hard on any application that can access another application’s services in the past, and any application that can modify an APK and repackage it probably also has some copyright and DMCA concerns to go along with it.
It is sad that Google hasn’t built more privacy and startup controls into applications. I’d really rather Application X didn’t have access to my contacts list, nor load 162 megs into memory on startup for no reason, but that’s something you just have to put up with unless you’re rooted or used UU AppPurifier.
Until Google adds real privacy protections that allow you to limit the insane access some applications have (I’m looking at you, Facebook), this is your best bet to run an application and not let it see your phonebook. Alternately you can simply choose to not install anything that requests a permission you don’t like it having.