Developers will need to add iOS-type Privacy information over the next year.
Google will soon require developers to provide more privacy and security information about their apps. The company is working on a new “safety section” for its Play Store listings, that will require Android app makers to explain what data is collected by their apps and how that data is used. The section will also include information about security features, such as encryption.
App makers will also need to state whether apps need the data to function and whether users have a choice in sharing it, and whether users can request data deletion upon uninstalling an app.
The company announced the new policy decision in a blog post this week. Suzanne Frey, VP, Product, Android Security and Privacy, detailed Google’s new requirements. “We work closely with developers to keep Google Play a safe, trusted space for billions of people to enjoy the latest Android apps,” she wrote.
“Developers agree that people should have transparency and control over their data,” Frey said. “And they want simple ways to communicate app safety that are easy to understand and help users to make informed choices about how their data is handled.
“Developers also want to give additional context to explain data use and how safety practices could affect the app experience,” she added.
Developers need to reveal the what, why and how of their App’s data use
Among other things, Google is going to ask developers to share what type of data they collect and store. Examples of potential options are approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), photos & videos, audio files, and storage files.
Developers will also need to reveal how the App uses data: Examples of potential options for this are app functionality and personalization.
Developers are responsible for the information their section discloses, Frey explained. Google Play will introduce a policy that requires developers to provide accurate information.
“If we find that a developer has misrepresented the data they’ve provided and is in violation of the policy, we will require the developer to fix i,” she warned. Apps that don’t become compliant will be subject to policy enforcement.
“In the future, we’ll continue providing new ways to simplify control for users and automate more work for developers,” Frey said.