Okay, I can kinda see it for programs intended to only be used by a single user on a multi-user computer. Kinda. It still strikes me as a sub-optimal solution, but since I rarely use multi-user computers and almost never run into an "I only want one specific user to have access to this program" situation, no others come to mind quickly. To me, /appdata/ is for storing users' personal settings, not the program itself.
For permissions, if a program needs permissions it won't have in /Program Files/, just make the default install location somewhere else (e.g., C:\vERAM\).
And, for refe