Earlier this year, the Google Play Store launched a new data privacy section that relies on developers disclosing the information their apps collect. but as pointed out by Esper senior editor Mishaal Rahman (Via Ars Technica), this could mean that Google will no longer display a verified list of permissions that it automatically collects from each app, giving developers full control over what they reveal to users. choose (or choose not to).
When Google first announced the new data privacy section last year, the company made it clear that its system would rely on information provided by developers. On a support page, Google states that developers have until July 20 to fill out data privacy forms for their apps, noting that “alone” developers must make “complete and accurate declarations” for their apps.
“Google Play reviews apps for all policy requirements; However we cannot determine on behalf of the developers how they handle user data,” explains Google. “Only you have all the information you need to complete the data protection form.” Google says it will take “appropriate action” if it finds a discrepancy between the developers’ reported information and the app.
It’s worth noting that the Apple App Store has a similar policy for the privacy “nurturing” label, and also requires developers to submit “self-reported summaries” about the privacy practices of their apps. Just as Google is doing now, Apple relies on developers to provide truthful information about the data their apps collect, a report of which Washington Post Found is often “misleading or flat-out-wrong”.
While Google doesn’t indicate any plans to replace the automatically generated app permissions with a data privacy section, Google seems to have quietly changed it. In a thread on Twitter, Rahman shows screenshots comparing one app listing with the old “Permissions” section, and another that has “Data Protection”. I saw the same thing after comparing an archived version of TikTok’s Google Play Store listing from 2021 with the one available now.
With the launch of data protection section on Google Play, which will be mandatory for all apps in 1 week, it seems that the list of app permissions in both mobile app and web is coming to an end.
— Mishal Rahman (@Mishaal Rahman) 13 July 2022
As Rahman points out, Google is storing app permissions in the play store, but it is not visible from the front end. He suggests downloading an open-source Play Store alternative called Aurora, which still displays permission before you download the app.
That said, it makes a lot more sense for Google to display both app permissions And Data privacy section. That way, users can compare the two to confirm that the permissions reported by the developer are consistent with Google’s findings. ledge It reached out to Google to see if the company plans to reinstate the app permissions section, but did not immediately hear back.