Google to Add Transparency Into How Apps Use Data

Prioritizing data privacy

Google plans to give Android users greater insight into how their smartphone apps use their personal data. 

In a blog post published Thursday, the tech giant wrote that a new safety section within Google Play would provide more transparency into the data that apps collect and share. 

Google Play logo

Tomohiro Ohsumi / Stringer

Google said the new safety section would make developers disclose what type of data is collected and stored within their apps and how that data is used (i.e., for app functionality or personalization). The company said examples of personal data include user location, photos and videos, personal information, contacts, and more. 

All apps in the Google Play store, including Google-owned apps, will be required to share their data details under the new policy. The company said developers or apps that don’t provide accurate information would have to fix it and/or be subject to policy enforcement. 

However, Google is giving developers some time to adapt to the new transparency rules. The tech giant said it wouldn't require new app submissions and app updates to provide data information until spring 2022. Android users can expect to start seeing the safety section on Google Play by the beginning of 2022. 

All apps on the Google Play store, including Google-owned apps, will be required to share their data details under the new policy.

Google seems to be prioritizing app privacy lately. Last month, the company introduced a new policy that makes it more difficult for certain apps to access other apps’ info on your smartphone.

Apps on the Google Play store have to give an acceptable reason to access the info regarding other apps on a user's phone. Permitted reasons include "device search, antivirus apps, file managers, and browsers," according to the new policy.

Google isn't the only one prioritizing app safety. Apple recently introduced the App Tracking Transparency feature in the iOS 14.5 update, allowing users to turn on and off the ability for apps to track you behind the scenes. 

Was this page helpful?