Android developers will need to add iOS-like privacy information soon

Developers will have a year to get their Android privacy information in order before Google starts to require it
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Google

Google will follow in the footsteps of Apple and is set to introduce privacy information requirements for developers that publish apps in its Play Store.

The company said in a blog post that developers will need to state what data is collected and stored, such as location, contacts, name, email address, and types of files stored; how the data is used, such as whether it changes app functionality or personalisation; which security practices, such as encryption, the app uses; and if the app follows Google's families policy.

App makers will also need to state whether apps need the data to function and whether users have a choice in sharing it, and whether users can request data deletion upon uninstalling an app.

Google said it will additionally require developers to declare if the stated privacy information is verified by an independent third party.

The company added that the onus will be on developers to be truthful, and if they are found to be telling fibs, they could be "subject to policy enforcement".

"All apps on Google Play -- including Google's own apps -- will be required to share this information and provide a privacy policy," the company said.

Laying out the timeline for these requirements, the new policy is set to appear in the next quarter and developers will be able to voluntarily disclose the privacy information in the final quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, users will be able to view the information in the first quarter of 2022 before the hard requirement lands in the second quarter of 2022.

At the end of last year, Apple began to publish privacy summaries in all of its app stores across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Google notoriously took a long time to begin publishing iOS privacy summaries.

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