Google's new guidelines will prevent apps from collecting unnecessary user data

Audrey Hill
December 5, 2017

Under a new "Unwanted Software Policy" announced late last week, Google will now show warnings when apps acquired in this manner tamper with personal data. The alerts will pop up on app store and webpages that lead to the offending apps. The new restrictions provided by "Safe Browsing team' cites that apps are required to provide their privacy policy and prompt users to share their data". Apps that handle user or device data will soon have to provide their own privacy policies. Also, if these apps collect personal data unrelated to the functionality of the app - the developers must highlight this prior to collection and transmission, so the user knows how the data will be used.

Google Play Store offers a myriad of apps, most of which require access to your personal data before being installed on your Android smartphone.

The new policy is applicable to all functions of an app. "For example, during analytics and crash reporting, the list of installed packages unrelated to the app may not be transmitted from the device without prominent disclosure and affirmative consent", Google explains. Google Safe Browsing will now show warnings on apps - and even on websites leading to app installations - for apps that collect a user's personal data without consent.

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The affirmative consent request dialog needs to be presented in a clear and unambiguous way. 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.

Google just recently listed new rules that ban apps from displaying ads on user's lock screen.

The OS maker is giving app developers 60 days to fix their issues and update apps with notifications of their full practices. 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.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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