New safety section in Google Play will give transparency into how apps use data
We work closely with developers to keep Google Play a safe, trusted space for billions of people to enjoy the latest Android apps. Today, we’re pre-announcing an upcoming 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.
Developers agree that people should have transparency and control over their data. And they want simple ways to communicate app safety that are easy to understand and help users to make informed choices about how their data is handled. Developers also want to give additional context to explain data use and how safety practices could affect the app experience. So in addition to the data an app collects or shares, we’re introducing new elements to highlight whether:
The app has security practices, like data encryption
The app follows our Families policy
The app needs this data to function or if users have choice in sharing it
The app’s safety section is verified by an independent third-party
The app enables users to request data deletion, if they decide to uninstall
This can be a big change, so we’re sharing this in advance and building with developers alongside us.
What this section will include
Among other things, we’ll ask developers to share:
What type of data is collected and stored: Examples of potential options are approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), photos & videos, audio files, and storage files
How the data is used: Examples of potential options are app functionality and personalization
Similar to app details like screenshots and descriptions, developers are responsible for the information disclosed in their section. 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.
What you can expect
We’re committed to ensuring that developers have plenty of time to prepare. This summer, we’ll share the new policy requirements and resources, including detailed guidance on app privacy policies. Starting Q2 2022, new app submissions and app updates must include this information.
Target Timeline (Dates subject to change)
In the future, we’ll continue providing new ways to simplify control for users and automate more work for developers.
In the meantime, here are some resources to help you design secure & privacy-friendly apps
Review what you collect, send to your servers, or share with 3rd parties
Review our resources for building privacy-friendly apps:
Review our resources for building more secure apps:
We’re excited to advance our partnership with developers to make Google Play a trustworthy platform for everyone.
Posted by Suzanne Frey, VP, Product, Android Security and Privacy