Google Sends 60-Day Warning To App Developers, Brands

LeoWolfert Getty Images  iStock

LeoWolfert Getty Images iStock

Striving towards better user privacy, Google's Safe Browsing team on Friday announced new and improved regulations for Android apps that are both on and off the Google Play Store. This includes putting the complete text of the privacy policy in the app itself.

There are apps that need personal user data (such as user phone number or email), or device data (MAC addresses, device name, model, and model number). They will also have to expressly ask for consent to share the data; while also highlight how the information will be used. The amended policy introduced a requirement for an app to provide prominent disclosure if it collects and transmits personal user data unrelated to the app's main functionality described in the Play Store listing. Essentially, this means that diagnostic tools must request express user permission before sending information about packages installed on the device to developers.

The app is a part of Google's Next Billion Users initiative that prioritizes on bolstering Google products in markets where data connections are limited. If Google flags an app or site, the webmasters can get guidance on the Search Console about the remediation and resolution of the warning.

Google has revealed it will be making major changes to how it safeguards users from malicious software. Which should be ample time to publish a small update. 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. If the data is not functional to the working of the app, an explanation will be required so that the user can choose to give or not give access.

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.

The new rules will kick in in 60 days, and webmasters will have to conform to the new rules in order to have the warnings removed.

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