A new Google Play Store feature will benefit users? Expert sees problem
Google has asked all app developers to share the data that their apps on the Google Play Store collect from users. Here’s what they must do.
Google will soon display the permissions that you allow while downloading and using applications from the Play Store. Better data privacy? It seems so. Earlier, the Google Play Store launched a dedicated new data privacy section especially for the developers of the apps to disclose the information that they collect via their apps. “Developers are required to tell us about their apps' privacy and security practices by completing a form in Play Console,” Google mentioned in one of its blog posts. This further confirms how this information will be shown on the app's store listing to help Google Play users understand how these apps collect and share user data before they download.
On a Google support page, the company clearly mentioned that by July 20, 2022, all developers must declare how they collect and handle user data for the apps they publish on Google Play, and provide details about how they protect this data through security practices like encryption. “Google Play reviews apps across all policy requirements; however we cannot make determinations on behalf of the developers of how they handle user data. Only you possess all the information required to complete the Data safety form,” Google explained.
But senior editor Mishaal Rahman of Esper pointed out one concerning fact about this new Google Play Store policy. This new data privacy section on Play Store will rely on developers to disclose the information their apps collect. However, this also means that Google will no longer display a verified list of permissions it automatically gathers from each app. Rahman shared this in a thread on Twitter, where he wrote, "The con is that the info in the Data Safety section is given by the developer, so what's shown there is up to them. Eg. Telegram's is light on details about what the purpose of its data collection is."
If you are a privacy-conscious user, then you can still check the list of permissions an app asks you before installing it. This can be done via Aurora Store, a FOSS Google Play client, Rahman suggested.
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