It's now up to apps, not Google, to say how they collect your data on the Play Store

It’s now up to apps, not Google, to say how they collect your data on the Play Store

A photo illustration of the Facebook, Amazon, Youtube, Google and Apple Store app logos floating in front of a row of ones and zeros.

drawing: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP (Getty Images)

Google raises its hands when it comes to privacy in app stores. Apparently thinking that only app developers themselves really know the totality of the information they siphon from their users, the platform now relies solely on those same developers not to lie about how they use all that data. Good luck with it.

The Google Play Store now requires all apps to include a data safety list on their app page by July 20 to show what types of data are being collected from their users. At the same time, the App Store has disabled previous features that allow users to see app permissions.

Though often vague, these permissions gave users a glimpse from Google itself of what parts of the phone apps had access to.

This means that Google effectively leaves it up to app developers to decide what to include in their safe lists, and also leaves app developers free to potentially simply lie to their users. The app permissions feature was often convoluted, but at least the information came from Google itself and not the app developers.

We contacted Google and a representative said they would have more information later in the day. We’ll update when we hear from them.

Apple has had one for a long time similar function for its App Store, which makes Google’s move to ban publicly disclosed permissions strange considering how long they’ve been touting this update. 2021 Google announced that developers would be required to detail an app’s security practices; and whether the app’s security scope was verified by an independent third party; and whether users could delete information after uninstallation.

In a beta version from 2021, Google shows which data should be included on various app store pages.
gif: Google

But just a few months later, Google changed his original announcement. They removed the requirement for apps to be verified and also set a deadline for the first quarter of this year. The company said app developers who don’t provide a security section by the deadline “may” have additional apps or updates declined. It is unclear what benchmark will be set for app developers. Of course, developers have until Wednesday to add these details, but if the apps that listed their data are anything, developers really don’t need to add many details.

tea telegram The data security side of the app is very non-specific. Why does it collect your personal information? Oh, just “app functionality”. TikTok, that was raked over the coals by lawmakers over allegations that it left the Chinese government accesses US user dataclaims on his Data Security page that no data is passed on to third parties. But it automatically captures user IDs for “analytics, advertising or marketing, security,” etc., all of which is still vague and nonsensical to the average user.

How would Telegram tell it to use your location or personal information?

How would Telegram tell it to use your location or personal information? “App functionality.”
screenshot: Google

Google’s own page To describe what these new requirements are, apps need to disclose not only what data they collect directly, but also any data processed through third-party libraries or SDKs in their apps. Google says it considers app data collection as part of its app review process and adds “She [app developers] are responsible for providing full and accurate information in your app’s store listing on Google Play… only you have all the information required to fill out the data security form.” Despite that last statement, Google said it would take enforcement action against apps where there is a discrepancy between the app behavior and what is listed on the security form.

The question remains why a developer would devote more care to this feature if it is not going to see much backlash. coffee company Tim Hortons was recently cited by Canada’s Data Protection Agency for collecting “huge” amounts of data about users for years. Still, it doesn’t seem like the fast-food chain is too stressed about Google’s new mandate. The firms app list in the Play Store still does not have a data safety list, although it is only a few days until the alleged deadline from Google.

#apps #Google #collect #data #Play #Store

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