Earlier this year Google Play Store has launched a new data privacy section relies on developers to disclose data collected by applications. But as mentioned Esper editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman (through Ars Technica), this could mean that Google will no longer automatically display the approved list of permissions it collects from each app, giving developers complete control over what they choose (or not choose) to reveal to users.
When Google first announced its data privacy division last year, the company made it clear that its system would rely on data provided by developers. On top of it support pageGoogle says that developers have until July 20 to fill out a data privacy form for their apps, noting that “only” developers must make “full and accurate disclosures” for their apps.
“Google Play reviews apps for all policy requirements; however, we cannot make decisions on behalf of developers about how they handle user data,” Google explains. “Only you have all the information required to complete the data security form.” Google says it will “take appropriate action” if it finds any discrepancies between the developers’ information and the app itself.
It should be noted that the Apple App Store has a similar policy its privacy “nutrition” tagsand also requires developers provide “self-report summaries.” about the privacy practices of its applications. As Google now does, Apple relies on developers to provide accurate information about the data their apps collect. Washington Post is often found to be “misleading or completely inaccurate”.
While Google hasn’t announced plans to replace auto-generated app permissions with a data privacy section, it appears that Google has quietly changed it. In a thread on Twitter, Rahman shows screenshots comparing one app list with the old “Permissions” section and another with just “Data security.” After comparing the archived version of TikTok to the Google Play Store, I noticed the same thing List from 2021 with one it is currently available.
With the launch of the Data Security section that will be mandatory for all apps in Google Play within 1 week, it seems that the list of app permissions is disappearing both in the mobile app and on the web.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) July 13, 2022
As Rahman points out, Google stores app permissions in the Play store, but it’s just not visible from the front end. It suggests downloading an open-source Play Store alternative called Aurora, which still displays permissions, before downloading the app.
However, it would make more sense for Google to show both app permissions and data privacy section. That way, users can compare both to confirm that the permissions given by the developer match Google’s findings. The Verge We reached out to Google to see if the company plans to restore the app permissions section, but did not immediately hear back.