Google has announced that it will soon make it mandatory for developers to disclose what data their apps collect in order to be transparent with the users in regards to privacy. For this, the Google Play store will have a safety section 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.
This functionality works similar to how Apple’s privacy labels work which shows the data collection stats for each app in the App store. “Developers agree that people should have transparency and control over their data. 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”, says Google.
In addition to the data an app collects or shares, Google will also introduce new elements to highlight whether:
The app has security practices, like data encryption
The app follows our Families policy
The app needs this data to function or if users have choice in sharing it
The app’s safety section is verified by an independent third-party
The app enables users to request data deletion, if they decide to uninstall
Among other things, Google will require the developers to share:
What type of data is collected and stored: Examples of potential options are approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), photos & videos, audio files, and storage files
How the data is used: Examples of potential options are app functionality and personalization
Similar to app details like screenshots and descriptions, developers will be responsible for the information disclosed in their app’s section. Google Play will introduce a policy that requires developers to provide accurate information. If the developer violates and provides wrong data, Google will ask them to fix it. Failure in complying with the requirement, the app will be subject to policy enforcement.