Google Taking Apple’s Approach and Letting Users Know Which App Tracks What Data

The Google Play Store is updating its policies similar to what Apple did a few months ago. Apple earlier this year introduced their App Tracking Transparency feature which makes developer take user consent now before storing or transferring any of their data and informs users which applications is collecting what data.

Google is now taking the same approach. According to Suzanne Frey (VP, Product, Android Security and Privacy) their new update will be getting a safety section which will require all developers present on the Store to put accurate information about what their policies are about customer information for the users.

The new updated section will be somewhere in between the rating and reviews of the applications and the general information of the app and is expected to contain all the important information about what kind of data an application collects, how much it stores and if it passes it to various third parties or not. What policies they follow will also be mentioned. However, Google in its announcement has alternatively called the section title of this feature a "safety section," a "data privacy & security" section, and an "app privacy & security" section, so we are still not sure what name it will go with yet.

That is though not all, apart from this, users will be able to access more information by tapping on more details, through which another menu will appear.

This section will highlight what information the application requires from within your phone like your location or contact, permission for which will also be granted by the user and it will also display all the details users might have put in about themselves at the time of setting up the application profile.

Google, has also taken their developers ideas under consideration for this new feature, though a huge chunk was not happy with the update. Why is that?

This is because developers collect the user data and send it to third parties, which makes it easier for business to understand the user preferences and then hit them with the ads of their likings. Through this, developers earn a huge sum of revenue. However, while Apple had already issued this new feature, Google launching it as well will make the developers lose an amount of their revenue money.

However, such updates and security practices are very important because it is the users’ data after all and it is their right to know where it is being collected and if they are not comfortable they can uninstall that app. Details that if the application will ask for consent similar to Apple for collecting data has not been mentioned as of yet.

The update on Google, however will not be going live until April 2022, so developers have a lot of time to make the necessary changes on Play Store. Apart from this, developer scan submit reviewing information from October this year, to get a clear idea on what changes should they bring.

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