Google Is Clamping Down On App Data Collection

Google unveils new Android software in India to power cheap smartphones

Google said the new requirements are part of an expanded enforcement of its unwanted software policy, which aims to protect users from deceptive software. It applies to both Google Play and other app markets.

The Google Safe Browsing Team has announced that it will be pushing a new updated policy that requires all app developers to inform users of what data is being collected, and how they intend to use that data. If an app continues to stray from the policy, users are likely to see its Safe Browsing full-page warnings, which will probably drive users away from the offending software.

"Additionally, if an app collects and transmits personal data unrelated to the functionality of the app then, prior to collection and transmission, the app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use", the company added.

The company did not say whether the new policy of privacy violation warnings will apply to its own software as well. This way, users can be protected even when they browse to websites that provide app installation.

The changes reflect an update in August to the Personal and Sensitive Information section of Google's Developer Policy Center.

It must also be displayed within the normal usage of the app and not be buried in settings. To gain consent, the user will need to tap to accept or tick a check-box. So if you're a developer and your app collects personal data, you have a little under two months to get your apps to comply with these new rules. This will help to crack down on malicious apps, including those from third-party sources that would previously go unnoticed by the Safe Browsing service.

New and existing applications will have 60 days to conform to these new rules, or developers risk their app displaying the new message asking for consent.

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