Google requires Android app developers to submit their data security information by July 20th

Google requires Android app developers to submit their data security information by July 20th

ace Ars Technica advises that all apps listed on the Google Play Store are available until July 20 due to a deadline. From this date, all app listings on the website must include the data security information provided by the developers of each app. The Data Security feature can be found in most apps listed on the Play Store by opening any one and scrolling down until you see the Data Security heading on the screen.

Google is replacing the Android app’s permissions list with the new data security feature in the Play Store

For example, we opened the TikTok app and under the Data Security heading, it says, “Security starts with understanding how developers collect and share your data. Privacy and security practices may vary by usage, region, and age. The developer provided this information and may update it over time.” TikTok’s data security list states that the app does not share data with third parties, encrypts data in transit, and allows you to request data deletion.

On the other hand, the data security list indicates that the app collects location, personal information and 9 other different types of data. If this bothers you, you can choose not to install TikTok or uninstall it if you’ve already added the app to your phone.

This data replaces the list of Android operating system permissions that the app requests from the operating system. This list is created by Google, while the data security list is submitted to Google by app developers. Get the difference? The App Permissions List is created by Google when it scans the permissions information requested by Play Store apps, and thus nothing is left out or deliberately not disclosed by the developer.
However, since the data security feature uses data submitted entirely by developers, when a developer tells Google that their app does not collect personal information and location data from users, users must believe they are telling the truth. And you don’t see if a developer who vouches for their app is crossing their fingers behind their back.

Android users need to trust both app developers and Google

Here is how Google Android app developers explains the new privacy listing: “You are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information in your app’s store listing on Google Play. Google Play reviews apps for all policy requirements; however, we cannot make any statements on behalf of the developers about how they handle user data. Only you have all the information required to fill out the data security form. If Google finds a discrepancy between your app behavior and your statement, we may take appropriate action, including enforcement action.”

The question then is not only whether you can trust an app’s developer to share all personal and private data that an app collects with Google, but also whether you believe that Google can properly monitor the new data security list . Considering we’re always writing about some form of Android malware that somehow made it through Google’s scanning, that’s a fair question.

If you recently switched from iOS to Android, the information about data security might sound familiar. That’s because Apple has a similar feature in the App Store called App Privacy. This data shows the data an app claims to collect that can be used to track you across third-party apps and websites. The feature also displays the data that a particular app collects that can be linked to your identity.

The bottom line is that whether you install Android or iOS apps, you have a way of seeing how much of your personal information is being exposed. Can we trust these lists as they come from the app developers themselves? With Google replacing app permissions with data security entries, iOS and Android users have no alternative.

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