Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
IT | By Lester Massey

Google to crack down on apps that snoop

Google to crack down on apps that snoop

In the case of apps that are made available through other software repositories, Google says that the warning will be added to an app's website instead.

If an app collects and transmits personal data unrelated to the functionality of the app then, prior to collection and transmission, the app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use.

These requirements will apply during all instances when the app has to collect personal or device data from the user. If the requirements listed are not met, warnings may be shown on user devices through Google Play Protect or on webpages that lead to these apps.

The tech giant's Safe Browsing team has expanded its Unwanted Software Policy to address further "unwanted and harmful behaviors on Android". The rules will apply both to apps downloaded through the company's own Play Store, as well as third-party Android app markets. This will apply at all times; for instance, the list of installed apps on your device can not be sent from your device during a crash report without consent.

The new changes are similar to an August update to the Personal and Sensitive Information section of Google's Developer Policy Center.

The means of users giving their consent to have data taken must also be presented in a clear and unambiguous way, such as tapping to accept or tick a check-box.

It must also be displayed within the normal usage of the app and not be buried in settings.

Google has been cracking down on certain ads within apps for a long time. Through tracking and controlling app data usage, you save more data and get the most out of your phone. Failure to comply will result in a Safe Browsing warning from Google. App developers caught by the new Safe Browsing warnings can request an app review on the App Verifications and Appeals support page.

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