Can I use app permissions to auto-fill forms from info on a users device?


New member
Oct 25, 2019
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Hey there folks,

I am working with an insurance company, and we're tossing around the idea of developing a mobile app for our customers. Before we get started, there were a couple of things that we were hoping some here would be able to help out with.
Firstly, we know that Apple and Google charge a 30% fee for paid apps and in app purchases. We were wondering if there is a way around that for us. We'd like to let customers sign up for coverage through the app, and we were just wondering if selling insurance through the app--as it is something tangible rather than say a digital item in a video game--would still incur that fee. That is a large cut to lose out on, so we just wanted to know exactly how Apple and Google handle these fees for services like ours.
We were also spit-balling the idea of using app permissions to look through the data on our customers phones to automatically fill out the application form for them to keep things as quick and simple as possible. Our main questions with that; is it possible to set up the permissions to do that, and is there a problem with doing it? We know that people take security seriously, and people may not like giving that level of permission to an app, so we're wondering if it's a feasible solution both from a technical standpoint and from an ethical one.
Any help would be much appreciated before we start moving forward with this. Thank you so much for any assistance.


Retired Moderator
Feb 12, 2012
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I can't tell you whether getting around Apple and Google that way is legal (but Walmart's app lets you pay directly from your debit or credit card with their app, so it probably is), and I can't tell you how looking through your customers' data will work (be sure to explain, right on the App Store or Play Store page what data you're looking for, and probably test market the app first, with looking for data automatically in a few markets and without looking for it automatically, to see which way works better (more installs, fewer complaints, etc.) - maybe a beta test period. (I can't tell you whether you can get the data you want without knowing what data it is. No one can.)

I have no problem with Walmart having access to my phone - I was just there about an hour ago, and paid my bill with my phone. And it has my debit card number. But many people are paranoid about the security features they don't have to worry about (but click phishing links without giving them a second thought).

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