We recently reported that: Google has decided to remove the ‘App Permissions’ section from the Play Store in favor of a new section called ‘Data Security’. However, data security is a section that developers fill out, and App Permissions was a section generated by Google, so it seemed to many that this move wasn’t such a good idea. And now, The Verge reports: that Google has decided to backtrack on this.
Google brings back the App permissions section
The App Permissions section, as you can probably tell by the name, was a place where you could see which app needed which permissions to work before installing the app on your Android phone. However, Google has decided to get rid of it in favor of the Data Security section, which aims to give you an idea of what data an app collects and how it uses that data. It could all have been good if it weren’t for the fact that the information Data Safety takes didn’t come from the app’s developer. Basically, just a few days ago, Google gave developers a deadline to provide the information. But as we mentioned above, the App Permissions section had the information directly from Google, rather than relying on the developer to provide it.
For those of you who weren’t happy with this decision (it eliminated the ability to quickly verify that the information provided by the developer in the Data Security section matched Google’s information in App Permissions), Google has decided that App Permissions are coming back soon.
Basically, in a tweet, Google stated that the section will return soon, and the decision to bring it back was based on user feedback. Google hasn’t given an exact time frame of when the feature will be back, but once it does, you’ll get it next to Data Security.
Privacy and transparency are core values in the Android community. We’ve heard your feedback that you found the app permissions section in Google Play helpful, and we’ve decided to fix it. The app permissions section will be back soon.
— Android developers (@AndroidDev) July 21, 2022
The Data Security section was announced in May 2021 and began its official rollout in April this year. It’s a section quite similar to: Apple App Privacy Labels. The information Google asks developers to fill out this section relates to what an app does with users’ data. In addition, the Data Security section displays whether or not the user’s data is shared with third parties, and what different types of data the app collects (such as location data, personal data, or other types of data). Data security also includes information about whether users can request that their data be deleted, or whether the data is encrypted. Google previously stated that only developers know these specific details, but Mountain View has ensured that people will take action against an app if inconsistencies in its data security data are found.
While we may want to believe that all developers will tell the truth when it comes to user data, we are sure that this will not be the case for all developers. That said, it would have been a potential privacy or data risk, something that isn’t great (to say the least) for users. And it seems that Google has decided to listen to feedback and reconsider its decision.
With App Permissions available again, you should be able to double-check some of the points mentioned by the developer in Data Safety and hopefully know better whether or not you should go for an app. App permissions are a handy and quick way to check what an app needs to work, and if you find some of them obscure, you may want to find another app to get on your Android phone.