Google Play has now officially released its own version of privacy-related “nutrition labels”. The company says that the new Google Play Data Security section will begin to be rolled out to users before July 20, so that developers can get to know the data collected by their apps properly, share it with third parties, and share it. application security practices and more.
The company’s plan to introduce application privacy tags on Google Play was first announced in the spring of last month, a month after Apple’s App Store introduced privacy tags to its app market.
Although the two sets of tags are based on informing users how applications collect and manage user data and privacy, there are some key differences. Apple’s label largely examines what data is being collected, including the data used to track it, and informs the user of how it relates to it. Google’s tags, on the other hand, pay more attention to whether or not you can reliably manage the data you collect so that you can let developers know if they’re following best practices for data security.
Tags also allow Android developers to explain why they collect data directly from the tag so that users can understand how the data is used — for application functionality, customization, etc. — to inform the user of the decision. download the app. They can also see if data collection is necessary or optional.
Google says it heard from app developers that it was not enough to display data collected by an app without additional context, which is what prompted the label design.
Upon launch, the Google Play Data Security section will specify the following, Google says:
- Whether or not the developer collects the data.
- Whether the developer shares data with third parties.
- Application security practices such as encrypting data on transport and whether users can request data deletion.
- Whether a qualified app is committed to complying with Google Play Family Guidelines designed to better protect children in the Play Store.
- Whether the developer has validated security practices with a global security standard (specifically, MASVS).
Since its launch of the tagging plan, Google says it has made only minor changes to the developer guide and the store’s user interface and experience. This includes updates that include information about the security of vendor data in their SDK providers, and a new question about System Services, among other clarifications and remarks.
Although adding tags can help users decide which apps they want to use in Android, it’s not clear at the time of posting that they’re trying to verify the accuracy of the data. When asked how the data will be analyzed, Google told us that the developers are responsible for the information they provide. Google also said that if a developer finds the data provided in violation of this policy incorrectly, it will not immediately remove the application, prompting the developer to fix it. Only if the application does not comply would an action be taken later.
Apps privacy tags have already been accused of being a reliable source of information after launching in the App Store. According to a report by The Washington Post last year, many of the labels examined at a local checkpoint provided false information. For example, they found that apps that did not collect data did the opposite: collecting and sharing.
In other words, the tag worked to give users a false sense of security about how their data was accessed and used, rather than a real way to take action. Apple, however, told The Washington Post that it would inspect the usual labels for accuracy. Google does not make such claims today.
Update: After initially responding to the fact that Google will hold developers responsible for this data, the company clarified that it verifies each section of the data security “using systems and processes that are constantly improving.”
Google has given developers until July 20 to comply with the details of the Data Security section, but the Data Security section is already being rolled out to users in the Google Play Store. This means that many users will see unlabeled applications even as the product launches. This phased release could also be by design, as it discourages users from immediately checking the privacy and security practices of their favorite applications; and by the time these tags arrive, users may have forgotten that they wanted to do so.
Users will start having tags appear on their Android phones sometime in the coming weeks as the tags reach worldwide users.