The "Phone State" permission on Android is widely requested by many apps. The explanation often given by the developer is that the app needs it in order to determine when you're on the phone, to stop doing stuff or making noise or the like.
However, it also provides an application with your IMEI, phone number, and remote number (number of inbound or outbound calls). This allows a lot of personal information collection, all under the guise of "my weather app needs to know when you're on the phone so it doesn't interfere with calls".
Why is knowing someone is on a call even a special permission? Certainly phone calls are still common enough to warrant providing a permission-free API that all apps can use to not bother a user in-call.
Why would Android hide such a powerful permission that allows detailed personal identification and cross-user tracking behind something that seems so innocuous? It only serves to get users in the habit of allowing permissions and accepting excuses from app developers.