Google Play’s new safety section will display data collection policies by developers, in order to provide full transparency to app users
In an Android Developers post by Suzanne Frey, the vice president of Android Security and Privacy revealed a new safety section in Google Play will go live next year. The section will require developers to disclose what types of data are being collected, and how specifically that data will be used by the third-party. Additionally, Google Play will request developers to reveal whether the app has security practices or data encryption, follows Google’s Families policy, if users have a choice in sharing data, if the app’s safety section is verified by an independent third-party, and whether the app will let users delete data if they uninstall the app. Frey also said that if a developer misrepresents its data collection practices in the Google Play safety section, Google will require the developer to fix the issue and provide accurate information.
What Google Play’s Safety Section Means For Users
Neither Apple’s Privacy Labels nor Google Play’s safety sections are going to completely stop developers from collecting data from the people that use apps, although Apple has already rejected some apps built with invasive tracking tools. As unfortunate as it is, data collection is profitable, and it’s part of why so many apps are offered at no cost to the general public. That’s the current state of having a presence online, and these policies are not going to change that. What Apple and Google are doing, however, is adding a layer of transparency to the transactions made between developers and users. Developers are free to keep their apps on the Google Play Store, as long as they’re following these new guidelines and being up front with users about the data that’s being collected. At the same time, users now have the proper tools at their disposal to see exactly what data will be collected by developers and determine if losing a part of their online privacy is a reasonable trade for the benefits that a particular app provides.
It’s not a foolproof solution to growing concerns about online privacy, but the actions taken by Apple’s App Store, and now the Google Play Store, are certainly progress towards a safer, more trustworthy relationship between two crucial parties in online commerce. That is, the people who make Android and iOS apps and the people who love using them.
Next: Google Accounts Will Be Automatically Enrolled In Two-Step Verification
Source: Android Developers Blog
Nintendo Switch Online GBA Games Library Gets an Unofficial Mockup