In 2020, Apple debuted “Privacy Labels” on the App Store. Last year Google announced the release of a similar feature in Google Play in the first half of 2022, where users see more information about how apps collect, share and secure their data.
Now Google has started rolling out the new app data description section in the Play Store detailing user data collection and privacy practices. With this new Data safety section of the Play Store, we should have more control over our privacy.
In the Data safety section, users can find information on whether data is collected and what purpose it serves. In addition, information should be found as to whether data is passed on to third parties or not.
The data collected includes information such as location, personal information, browsing activity, financial information and device identifier, and the purposes include the functionality of the application, analytics, advertising, fraud prevention, personalization, and account management, among others. Google also has a support page regarding more information on this feature.
The new section will also allow us to identify whether the data collected is strictly necessary for the operation of the application or if it is carried out as additional practice. We will also find information about the data protection measures implemented by the developers.
Developers have until July 20, 2022, to provide the necessary information. In a guide for the new Data safety section, Google explains in which cases developers do not have to indicate that data is collected. If, for example, the information is only stored on the device and not forwarded, or if forwarded data is only processed in a session-specific manner, labelling is not necessary.
As developers still have time to provide the necessary information, it may take some apps a while for the new information to appear.