Google Play And the New Way How Apps Will Use Your Data

Google Play And the New Way How Apps Will Use Your Data

By julianapardogonzalez

How started all this? 

In May 2021, Google made a pre-announcing in its blog about a new safety section in Google Play, where they said “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 worked closely with developers to keep Google Play a safe, and a trusted space. The developers, were agreed that people should have transparency and control over their data.  

Moreover, they wanted   to give additional context to explain data use and how safety practices could affect the app experience. As a result, they were introducing new elements to highlight:    

  • 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. 

New technicalities 

Then, in July and October of the same year, they announced additional details, where the developers are required to tell them about their apps’ privacy and security practices through a form in Play Console. This information is shown on the app’s store listing to help Google Play users understand how the app collects and shares user data before they download. 

Also, they remember to them that as developers, they are responsible for making complete and accurate declarations. Since, only they possess all the information required to complete the Data safety form. 

At that point, until July 20, 2022, all developers must have declared how they collect and handle user data for the apps they publish on Google Play. After they have completed and submitted the Data safety form, the information they provided will be reviewed by Google as part of the app review process. 

Observation: It also occurred, that as of July 20, 2022, all apps must have an accurate and complete data security form, indicating how they collect and share data. This requirement must be met even if the app does not collect any user data. 

Here, is where Google informed that if it becomes aware of a discrepancy between the app behavior and the declaration, they may take appropriate action, including enforcement action. 

Finally, the release 

This section, was launched by Google in its Play app store on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. With the principal objective, to show and help people safety and privacy guidelines before they download an app, in this way users can make more informed choices when deciding which apps to install. 

What you can find in this section is: 

  • If, the developer is sharing data with third parties. 
  • The app’s security practices and whether users can ask for data to be deleted. 
  • The developer is collecting data, and for what purpose. 
  • Whether a qualifying app has committed to following Google Play’s family’s policy. 
  • Whether the developer has validated its security practices more specifically, the Mobile Application Security Assessment. 

The Data safety section it covers both first-party and third-party app developers. Now, with this section, you also now have more control over what data downloaded apps can access. 

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