Malicious apps / Security?
"because malicious programs can use it to intercept users' data and endanger their privacy"
Google, don't make me laugh. YOUR mobile phone platform is the one where where reading if the phone is in the course of making a call also blabs phone numbers.
In fact - to quote your own help text (Android 2.3.6 or something): "READ PHONE STATE AND IDENTITY Allows the application to access the phone features of the device. An application with this permission can determine the phone number and serial number of this phone, whether a call is active, the number that call is connected to and the like."
So for a video or music application to keep an eye on the phone status so it can shut up and get out of the way when a call is taking place, you are by design quite willing to leak the phone's serial number and the numbers of both myself and the person I'm talking too.
Plus my older phone defaulted to broadcasting my WiFi password to Google "for the purposes of backup". Plus two of my Android phones require me to consent to anonymous tracking before I can make use of GPS functionality (with, as I pointed out in the past, no clue as to what data is being sent, how many Kb, and who to; I have none of that information and no choice to opt out yet I am expected to consent to this before I can use a specific advertised functionity of my phones?). Finally, the permissions is accept ALL or NONE. Without rooting the device, the app programmer defines the permissions, the end user cannot fine-tune this.
So with all of that in mind:
F**K your pathetic excuses of "security". The Android security model is appalling. We would probably be outraged if we had the faintest ideas of the stuff our phones habitually leak, only the system is tied up in such a way that we probably won't ever really know. You make loads of money off of advertising, this is specifically blocking an advertisement blocker. We are not fooled.
[whoa, Daily Mail rant much? ;-) ]