To help smartphone users protect their personal data, new privacy labels for Android apps reveal how much of your data an app collects, how it protects that data, and with whom it shares it.
As people start paying more attention to privacy issues, Google is forcing app developers to be much more transparent about how they use personal data. The new Google Play Data Safety section will roll out over the next few weeks, with Google giving all app developers until July 20 to complete privacy labels for Android apps.
Google requires much more granular detail than traditional privacy notices. For example, if an application accesses your location data, the developer must indicate whether it requires your approximate or precise location. If the application requires your personal information, the developer must indicate whether this information will be used for advertising, analysis or marketing purposes.
In addition to revealing what data is accessed and how it is used, app developers should also detail the app’s security practices, such as whether data is encrypted in transit and whether users can request data deletion. . Developers should also indicate whether they have validated the app’s security practices against the Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS).
To help parents make more informed decisions, Android app privacy labels should state whether or not the developer is committed to following Google Play’s Family Policy to better protect children.
Google also plans to restrict the availability of outdated apps on the Play Store, to ensure apps still available for download take advantage of Android’s latest privacy and security features.
Google’s move follows the launch of similar “Privacy Nutrition Labels” on Apple’s App Store in late 2020.
At the same time, Google is also giving users greater control over installed apps, through streamlined permission features.
For example, when an app requests access to their location, users can quickly and easily decide if they want to grant this permission for one-time use, only while using the app, or all the time. For sensitive permissions such as camera, microphone, or location data, users can use the Android Privacy Dashboard to review data access by apps.
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