Google Set To Launch iOS-Like Privacy Flags On Android Apps

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Image courtesy PhoneArena

The influence from Apple can be felt once again with Google planning to introduce privacy labels for Android apps in the Play Store from next year.

Google will begin to show these labels for the app on the Play Store under the new Safety section. Users will be shown what kind of data the app collects. This includes location, personal information, photos and storage— and how it plans to use the data.

The iPhone maker gave a glimpse of similar labels last year at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). They were then introduced to the App Store later in December giving an indication of what data every app is collecting from you.

Additionally, the Safety section on the Google Play Store will show if the app follows Google’s family guidelines, security practices like encrypting data and data deletion on request.

These are meant to be useful indicators that give more context about how your data lives on the app developer’s server. This could be as important as knowing what data is being collected.

According to Google, the firm plans to issue a policy about this new feature in the next quarter this year. Later in the year, Google will allow developers to start declaring these labels in the Google Play consoles.

So far, Google hasn’t launched any pop-up like Apple that asks users for their permissions for tracking their data. However, the upcoming Safety section will have a place for apps to explain why they need to track user data.

The company plans to enforce safety labels on apps by mid-next year, but it hasn’t said what will happen to the apps that aren’t in compliance.

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