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I don't understand why it would need such permissions. I am using Parallels Desktop 7 on OS X Mountain Lion.

"Parallels Desktop" would like to access your contacts.

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If you dont allow access, does the installation go through? – Dave Jul 31 '12 at 15:07
This is after the installation and comes up on the first run. I clicked "Don't Allow" and it seems to work fine. – Tyler Crompton Jul 31 '12 at 15:19
If you really want an answer to this question, ask the developer of Parallels, fastest option. – Ramhound Jul 31 '12 at 15:38
It's not just Parallels. As Spiff answers below, many apps ask permission to get access to your user card. Also, if sharing is in any way enabled, it needs to access the contacts for that too (but that's more blindingly obvious than the user card). – user3463 Jul 31 '12 at 16:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't know for Parallels specifically, but I know of at least one app that asked for access to contacts just to get the current user's first name (from the user's "Me" card). The Open Directory database (the users/groups/authentication database) had a "Full Name" field, but it wasn't broken down by first and last name, so if an app wanted to use your first name for default names of "Tyler's VM" had to check contacts to find for sure where your first name ended and your last name began.

It's also possible it wanted to look at your "Me" card to try to auto-fill the registration form for you, as a convenience.

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