Following in the footsteps of Apple, Google LLC recently announced its intention to execute a new Google Play policy that will allow users to see what personal information is being collected by app developers and what for.

The announcement comes six months after Apple started demanding that App Store listings provide a summary of how an app gathers data and whether the information is used for advertising.

Google’s new policy’s biggest change is the inclusion of a privacy section to Android apps’ Google Play listings.

In this section, developers will have to share if their apps harvest personal information such as names, contacts, and email addresses. Google also plans to require that developers reveal if they gather device data such as an Android handset’s location, the organization stated in a blog post.

Besides supplementary details about what information apps gather, Google’s goal is to give users a more comprehensive view of what services do with that information.

Developers would have to clarify whether the data collection is necessary just for their apps to function, or if it’s utilized to other ends such as to track ad performance. The app developers will also have to say whether customers can ask for data removal upon uninstalling an app.

Android clients can expect Google Play listings to give them more information about these apps themselves. App makers will have a chance to focus attention on security characteristics, such as if their apps utilize encryption.

Google is also planning to give developers the possibility of passing their apps’ privacy sections via an independent third-party audit, which could be useful for banking platforms and services.

It will be the developers’ responsibility to be honest regarding this matter, otherwise, if they are caught lying, they could become “subject to policy enforcement”.

Google LLC stated:

All apps on Google Play — including Google’s own apps — will be required to share this information and provide a privacy policy.

Source

Google plans to execute the policy gradually. The organization will share the new policy requirements and resources with developers before August, including complete guidance on app privacy policies.

The text of the policy will be released next quarter of 2022 by the organization and plans to start showing customers details about apps’ data collection practices.

Starting with the second quarter of 2022, providing a summary of app data collection practices will be obligatory across all the Google Play listings.

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