Google Play Store app privacy statements are gradually appearing

Google is rolling out a new security section in the Play Store designed to show users more details about what data apps are collecting and how it’s being used, the company said. The section will be rolled out to users gradually over the next few weeks, and app developers have until July 20 to add the information to their listings – so the section may not appear immediately for everyone. The initiative was first announced last year.

According to Google, the section is an attempt to give users more information and context. It lists the data collected by each developer, whether they share it, and their security practices (such as whether they encrypt data in transit). There will also be information on whether a developer complies with Google Play’s family policy and whether their security practices have been validated by a third party.

Sections can be expanded to show more information.
Image: Google

For more information about what developers should disclose, see this support page. According to the site, misrepresenting an app’s data collection practices or not completing this section could result in an app’s updates being blocked and even being removed from the Play Store. “Even app developers who don’t collect user data are required to fill out this form and provide a link to their privacy policy,” the site reads.

The new Play Store transparency follows the launch of a similar feature in Apple’s App Store in late 2020. However, Google’s support page notes that the security realm isn’t necessarily one-to-one with Apple’s, so developers can’t wait to give both exactly the same information. “The taxonomy and framework of the data security section of Google Play may differ significantly from that of other app stores,” the site reads.

The initiative is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to ensure Play Store apps respect user privacy. Earlier this month it announced plans to limit the availability of outdated apps on the Play Store to ensure the apps available for download use Android’s latest privacy and security features.

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