Apps

Google Play will now show what data apps collect, how they use it

Google's "Data safety" section will require developers to provide information about how their apps collect, share, and secure user data.

Published:Wed, April 27, 2022 10:37am

By Md Waquar Haider

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Google has announced privacy labels for its own apps, with the aim of providing Google Play users with more information about the data that the apps they download are collecting. Initially announced in May 2021, Google's "Data safety" section will require developers to provide information about how their apps collect, share, and secure user data, months after Apple's App Store introduced privacy labels on its own app marketplace.

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The search engine giant has made Data Safety active on its store listings, both in a browser and in the Android store app, but it still requires developers to submit information for the listings and all developers will be required to complete this section for their apps by July 20.

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"We heard from users and app developers that displaying the data an app collects, without additional context, is not enough," Google explained. "That's why we designed the Data safety section to allow developers to clearly mark what data is being collected and for what purpose it's being used."

Here are the information developers can show in the Data safety section:

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Whether the developer is collecting data and for what purpose.

Whether the developer is sharing data with third parties.

The app's security practices, like encryption of data in transit and whether users can ask for data to be deleted.

Whether a qualifying app has committed to following Google Play's Families Policy to better protect children in the Play store.

Whether the developer has validated their security practices against a global security standard (more specifically, the MASVS).

Apple Mail Privacy Protection

Meanwhile, Apple also expanded its privacy-focused approach to another level with new protections in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8, which help users better control and manage access to their data.

In the Mail app, the new 'Mail Privacy Protection' stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user.

The feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can't be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location, the company said during its flagship WWDC21 developer conference.

"Privacy has been central to our work at Apple from the very beginning," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering.

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