How and Why Pocket Asks for the Read Contacts Permission

We’ve always prided ourselves in having a strong privacy policy while being as transparent as possible because our user’s privacy is incredibly important to us. This article details how Pocket uses (and more importantly, how it doesn’t use) the Read Contacts permission. For details on other permissions see How Pocket uses Android Permissions.

How does Pocket use this permission?

When sharing a link with a friend, via Send To Friend, Pocket will check your address book for matching names or email addresses as you type them. This is the same type of autocomplete you will see in your email app when adding a recipient to a new email message. The purpose of the feature is to make it fast and easy to share to your friends without having to remember their email address.

When looking for friends to follow on Pocket, your contacts will only be used to find your friends. Their email addresses will not be uploaded or stored by Pocket. You’ll be able to choose who you’d like to follow after connecting.

If you decide to let Pocket check your address book for matching Pocket accounts to follow, your contacts list will be checked to see if anyone is already on Pocket. This makes it easy to follow people you know on Pocket to see their recommendations.

Aside from the two uses above, the Read Contacts permission is not used for any other purpose, and as a result, Pocket does not access your calls, messages, or communication history.

Does Pocket collect or save my list of contacts?

Your contact database is only accessed locally on your device. No copy is ever made. This means that your private contact database and history is never transmitted to or stored by Pocket. If you choose Send To Friend to share content with another person, we will use the selected recipient’s email address to provide that service, but we will not use that email address for any other purpose.

Do you share this information with third parties?

We do not share any private or personal information unless you expressly request that we do so. If you choose to use Send To Friend to share content with another person, we will send an email on your behalf to that person with a link to the content you have chosen to share.

Can you make the permission optional?

Starting with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), you can choose which permissions to allow, and which you’d like to disable in Pocket. Therefore, you can choose to disable this permission.

For earlier versions of Android, however, permissions are granted at the time of installation or update. This means that it’s sadly not possible to make certain permissions optional if you’re running Android 5 or earlier.

We’re very excited that Android 6.0 and greater introduces more flexibility with permissions, and encourage you to update your device if possible.

Does Send to Friend replace sharing to other apps?

You can still share from Pocket same way as before. When you tap share, you will see a list of your apps that you can share to. Send to Friend is just one of the options among others in this list. To learn more about the benefits of using Send to Friend in Pocket, please click here: Introducing Pocket's Send to Friend

For more, please view Pocket’s Privacy Policy:

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about privacy, please reach out to us at

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