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Google rolls back app permissions section in Play Store after backlash

Google Play Store's Data Safety section informs users of the information an app collects, but it will soon be replaced with app permissions.

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Google Play Store will soon replace the Data Safety section with the good old app permissions.


Google has caved in to the criticism around the removal of the app permissions section for Play Store listings. In a series of tweets, Google’s Android Developers said the newly christened Data Safety section will soon be replaced by the good old section that listed which permission an app uses. The change, it said, is an outcome of user feedback. Also Read - Battlegrounds Mobile India removed from Google Play Store, Apple App Store following government order

Earlier this month, Google announced a major change for the Play Store wherein the section listing the permissions an app needs to run properly on your device was replaced with Data Safety. The new section, while it lasts, informs users of the information an app collects. Not like it was not useful, but it failed to offer immediate information on the permissions. Also Read - Google Play celebrates its 10-year anniversary with a new logo

What is the difference?

To put it simply, Google began showing what information an app would collect from your phone and account in the Data Safety section. While there is nothing wrong with that, this information was provided by the app developer. As such, an app with malicious code could pass as benign, just because its developer said so in the listing. This is unlike app permissions that Google used to fetch on its own for an app instead of relying on the information from the developer. Also Read - How to download BGMI without Google Play Store or Apple App Store

The Data Safety section made it impossible for users to quickly compare permissions and other information about an app to get clarity on what it would have access to.

The fact that Google thought of the Data Safety action has everything to do with Apple’s privacy labels. For an app to get listed in the App Store, the developer has to tell Apple how it collects user data and what it does with it. Google, while announcing Data Safety back in 2021, highlighted the same requirement. But at the expense of the crucial app permissions section in the Play Store.

Google demanded developers disclose the data collection and storing information on their apps’ listing in the Play Store. It also said it would take an action against an app if the information fed into the listing was found to be inaccurate.

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  • Published Date: July 22, 2022 10:50 AM IST



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