Google requires Android app developers to provide data security information by July 20

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As Ars Technica points out that by July 20, all apps in the Google Play Store will have a deadline. By that date, all app listings on the site must include the data security information provided by the developers of each app. The Data Protection feature can be found in most apps in the Play Store by opening any and scrolling down until you see the Data Protection heading on the screen.

Google replaces the Android app’s permissions list with the new Data Protection feature in the Play Store

For example, we opened the TikTok app and under the Data Security heading it says: “Security starts with understanding how developers collect and share your data. Data privacy and security practices may vary based on your usage, region and age. The developer provided this information and may update it over time.” TikTok’s data security list says the app does not share data with third parties, encrypts data in transit, and you can request to delete data.

On the other hand, the data security list notes that the app collects location, personal information and 9 other different types of data. If this bothers you, you can decide not to install or uninstall TikTok if you’ve already added the app to your phone.

This data replaces the list of permissions for the Android operating system that the app requests from the operating system. That list was made by Google while the data safety list is submitted to Google by app developers. Do you get the difference? The list of app permissions is created by Google when it scans the permission information requested by Play Store apps and thus nothing is omitted or intentionally disclosed by the developer.
But since the data protection feature uses data submitted entirely by developers, users must believe that when a developer tells Google that their app doesn’t capture users’ personal and location data, he is telling the truth. And you can’t tell if a developer who vouches for his app is crossing his fingers behind his back.

Android users should trust both app developers and Google

Here’s how Google explains the new data security notice to Android app developers: “You alone are responsible for making complete and accurate statements in your app’s store listing on Google Play. Google Play reviews apps across all policy requirements; however, we cannot make decisions on behalf of developers about how they handle user data. Only you have all the information needed to complete the Data Security form. When Google finds a discrepancy between your app behavior and your report, we can take appropriate action, including enforcement measures.”

The question then becomes not only whether you can trust the developer of an app to pass all the personal and private data that an app collects to Google, but you also have to ask yourself whether you believe that Google can handle the new list of data security well. to check. Considering that we always write about some form of Android malware that somehow made it through Google’s scan, that’s a good question to ask.

If you’ve recently switched from iOS to Android, the information about data security may sound familiar to you. That’s because Apple has a similar feature in the App Store called App Privacy. This data shows the data an app says it collects, which can be used to track you through third-party apps and websites. The feature also shows the data a particular app collects that can be linked to your identity.

The bottom line is that whether you install Android or iOS apps, you do have a way of seeing how much of your personal data is exposed. Can we trust these lists because they come from the app developers themselves? With Google replacing app permissions with data protection lists, iOS and Android users have no alternative.

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