Google: Android apps must provide privacy information by April 2022

silversurfer

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Google has announced today more details regarding their upcoming Google Play 'Safety section' feature that provides users information about the data collected and used by an Android app.
Today, Google also announced additional policy changes that are requiring all app developers to include a privacy policy and that they must also disclose data used by an app's third-party libraries or SDKs.

In addition, Google provides developers an updated timeline for when they can begin submitting this information, when users can start to see the Safety section, and the deadline for developers to provide the information.

Timeline for developers

Timeline for developers
Source: Google
Starting in October 2021, the "App privacy & security" will become available on an app's content page on Play Console. Developers can then begin to complete the questionnaire to provide information about the data collected, security features used, and the app's privacy policy.

In early 2022, Google Play users will now begin to see an app's "App privacy & security," including all of the data provided by the app developer. For this section to appear, the developer must have provided a privacy policy for the app.

Finally, in April 2022, all apps will be required to have a completed "App Privacy & security," including a privacy policy. If there are unresolved issues with this section, Google Play will reject all app updates until complete.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Google is lifting the veil of mystery surrounding the Play Store’s upcoming safety section. And we can’t be more grateful. They have detailed that Android apps in the Google Play Store will have to share their privacy and security policies in an effort to create more transparency. Furthermore, they have also imposed strict deadlines for when these changes must reflect.

Once implemented, Android users can visit the security section in any app’s Google Play listing, and you will see the security and privacy policies that govern your data. You will be able to clearly see if the app encrypts data, what type of information the app collects, and more impressively, whether or not the security has been tested against worldwide standards.

There will also be a summary feature that you can tap for more details. This will show you what type of data has been collected and how it’s being used. This is one way Google gives developers a chance to explain why they’re asking for your information.

Another inclusion in the new safety section is that all Play Store apps will require a privacy policy. Whereas in the past, only apps that collected sensitive data were required to have such a policy.

Google has announced that Android developers can start sharing security and privacy policies to the security section from October 2021. We will only be seeing the new area in the Play Store in the first quarter of 2022. And from April 2022, the app developers will have to declare this information.

This is definitely a push in the right direction. The goal has been that the new safety area should help users make informed decisions on the apps they decide to use. The security and privacy policies should be transparent, and users should know what data is being used and why.

This section will also make it possible to use only apps that respect your privacy and security, which hopefully results in developers working harder to ensure their apps achieve this. Apps that don’t encrypt your data or share it a little too freely open you up to malicious attacks. We hope this will create a baseline level of trust that wasn’t always present in Android apps.
 
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