Google Play Safety Section

Google determined that, at least when it comes to privacy, Apple is a good example of practices that can be replicated. Through the Android Developers Blog, Mountain View giant announced that they will add a new safety section in Google Play for all apps, like Apple’s privacy labels.

The iOS privacy labels, which allow you to quickly see what data users’ applications collect, are used to assess the installation of one or another app. Google will follow this trend to integrate them next year in the apps of the Google Play Store.

As Google explains, “safety section in Google Play 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.”

They ensure that developers share their thinking about data “transparency and control.” After all, correctly reporting how our personal information is used is an increasingly requested practice by users.

“Developers also want to give additional context to explain data use and how safety practices could affect the app experience,” they add. 

Google, much like Apple, will focus on the following privacy labels for Play Store apps:

  1. The app has security practices, like data encryption
  2. The app follows our Families policy
  3. The app needs this data to function, or if users have a choice in sharing it
  4. The app’s safety section is verified by an independent third-party
  5. The app enables users to request data deletion if they decide to uninstall

The developers will be obliged to inform in the Play Store “what types of data they collect and store.” Like approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g., name, email address), photos & videos, audio files, and storage files

Once it is clear what information they occupy, the next step will be to specify how they will use it — whether they are part of the application’s functionality or to personalize the experience, among other options.

Google Play Safety Section roadmap

Google stresses that developers must provide accurate information. “Google Play will introduce a policy that requires developers to provide accurate information. If we find that a developer has misrepresented the data they’ve provided and is in violation of the policy, we will require the developer to fix it. Apps that don’t become compliant will be subject to policy enforcement.”

Google indicates that developers will be able to start sending the requested information from the fourth quarter of 2021. It will be until the first half of 2022 when users see the safety section in the Play Store. All applications in the digital store have until the second quarter of 2022 to adapt to the guidelines.

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