Re: I do not install anything asking for this permission
"The noble idea of app permissions is flawed by not being able to revoke them individually at install time or afterwards."
And remember, this was demanded of app devs before they would even start developing apps on Android. Otherwise, Apple would still be top dog. So now it's a tug of war. Since it's the devs who pay Google actual money to get their apps out there, they're the ones who have Google's ear. End customers can't really influence Google (one leaves, another takes his place) unless they trigger a mass-exodus, and even there, where would you go (Blackberry is foundering and Microsoft and Apple each have their own issues)? Plus, if faced with the prospect of user-customized permissions, devs could still balk and either make their app unusable without all the permissions or simply abandon Android and go back to Apple.