Google begins roll out of Play Store data safety section

The new section is Google's latest effort to give users more control over their data.
Written by Julian Bingley, Contributor

Google has commenced the roll out of its new data safety section for Android users on the Play Store. The new section will require app developers to inform users on how they collect data, who has access to that data, and what data is collected.

Further information available to users will include whether the developer has qualified their security practices against a global security standard, whether the app has committed to follow Google Play's Families Policy, and more granular details relating to an app's security practices such as whether users can ask for data to be deleted.

Google will also require developers revise their data safety section when updating the functionality or data handling practices of their apps.  

"We heard from users and app developers that displaying the data an app collects, without additional context, is not enough. Users want to know for what purpose their data is being collected and whether the developer is sharing user data with third parties," the company said in a blog post.

"In addition, users want to understand how app developers are securing user data after an app is downloaded. That's why we designed the data safety section to allow developers to clearly mark what data is being collected and for what purpose it's being used. Users can also see whether the app needs this data to function or if this data collection is optional."

Although the roll out of the new section has already commenced, developers have until the July 20 to fill out the section. 

Moreover, Google encouraged users to access the Android privacy dashboard to manage app permission for the use of location data, microphone, camera options, and to also review data access by apps.

The new requirements come a month after Google removed an app with over 100,000 downloads from its Play Store after security researchers warned that the app was able to harvest the Facebook credentials of smartphone users and, additionally, after Google was reportedly fined €2 million by the Paris Commercial Court for acting abusively to developers with apps on the Play Store.

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