Starting 2022, Google Play Android apps have to reveal data collecting and sharing information

All Android applications that are available on Google Play will soon have to provide information on its data collecting, sharing and other privacy information.

Google VP Suzanne Frey announced the plan today on the Android Developers blog of the company.

Today, we’re pre-announcing an upcoming safety section in Google Play that will help people understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security.

Google follows Apple’s lead, as Apple introduced the requirement for developers already on the company’s App store.

All applications on Google Play will have to provide the information, including Google’s own apps hosted on Google Play. Applications have to reveal the type of data that is collected, e.g. personal information, photos & videos, audio files, storage files, location information or contacts, and how it is used, e.g. for personalization or functionality.

Google plans to introduce new elements to highlight additional important information. The company listed the following examples in the blog post:

  • Whether an app has security practices, e.g. data encryption.
  • Whether an app follows Families policy.
  • Whether the requested data is needed or if users have choice in sharing it.
  • Whether the safety section is verified by a third-party.
  • Whether the app supports requests for data deletion on uninstall.

Developers are responsible for the information that they disclose. Store policies will require developers to provide “accurate information” and misrepresentation may result in request to fix the information or policy enforcement.

google play timeline

As far as the timeline is concerned, Google Play users will start seeing the new section in the first quarter of 2022. From the second quarter of 2022 on, all new and updated applications need to declare the information.

The policy will become available in the third quarter of 2021 and developers may start declaring the information in Google Play Console from the fourth quarter of 2021 onward. Google notes that the dates may change

Closing Words

Next year, around this time, Google Play applications will disclose the data that they collect and share, plus related information. The information may help Android users when it comes to vetting applications before installation, but it depends on how detailed and accurate it is.

Now You: will the new section change user behavior when it comes to the selection of apps in the store?

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