Google’s new safety feature in Play Store will show how apps handle user data

Safety section in play store Android developer blog Google app data
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Apple recently added a new privacy label in App Store to increase clarity over the types of data used by each app. And it seems that Android users will have a similar degree of transparency in Play Store. Google is expanding Play Store’s app transparency policy which will include more insight into how an app uses user data under something called the “safety section”.

Google’s upcoming safety section in Play Store:

Google revealed in its Android developer blogs that it is introducing a safety section in Google Play; which will provide a summary of the data that an app collects or shares. It also informs you whether or not the data is secure, as well as other information that affects a user’s privacy and security.

Per the company, they needed straightforward ways to communicate app safety that are easy to understand while also assisting users in making informed decisions about how their data is treated. Furthermore, developers will include an additional context to clarify data usage and how safety practices can impact the app experience.

In total, the safety section in Google Play Store will highlight:

  • If the app has security practices, like data encryption.
  • If the app follows Google Play Family policy.
  • Check if the application needs this data to function or if users have a choice in sharing it.
  • If the app’s safety section is verified by an independent third party.
  • If the app enables users to request data deletion if they decide to uninstall.

Google Play Store App Data Usage Policy

According to Google “it can be a big change, so we’re sharing this in advance and building with developers alongside us.”

What the safety section will include?

Google says the safety section will provide information about the types of data collected and stored by a specific app. The data can include location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), images and videos, audio files, and storage files.

Furthermore, developers would be required to report how the data is used. In addition, Google Play will have a policy requiring developers to have truthful details. During the process, if developers are found misrepresenting the data they submit and violate the policy, they would be asked to correct it.

Planned launch

Interestingly, Google will share the details and provide a policy for its in-house apps too. And to do so, the tech giant is providing plenty of time for developers to cope up with the change.

Starting this summer, the company will share the new policy requirements and resources, including detailed guidance on app privacy policies. And, starting in the second quarter of 2022, all the apps on Google Play Store must include this information.

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