Amid an ever-mounting on Google to make play store more secure, the search giant has now announced creation of a new safety option in its Google Play Store. This latest addition will let Android smartphone users see what data developers collect about them and share, as well as giving them access to additional privacy and security information. This feature will be rolled out in the second quarter of the next year and will require first-party apps to provide this information as well.
Google’s latest development mirrors the ‘Privacy Labels’ announced by Apple earlier, which covers both Apple’s own apps and third-party apps.
Google said that this would “help people understand the data (like location, contacts, or email address) an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security.” It would also have developers provide context to explain how the data would be used and what it would mean for the functionality of the apps, or for personalization purposes.
Google Play would also require developers to reveal whether the apposes security practices like 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.
According to Google, developers will have enough time to implement the changes – they will be able to declare the new privacy information in Q4 2021, which will be shown to the users in Q1 2022. Google’s policy has some salient differences from Apple’s Privacy Labels, offering the developer a way to show why it collects data on the Play Store listing itself. It also allows the app data labels to be independently verified.
After Q2 2022, non-compliant apps will be required to fix their violations or become subject to policy enforcement.