Google officially began rolling out a new “Data Security” section for Android apps on the Play Store on Tuesday to highlight the type of data collected and shared with third parties.
“Users want to know what their data is collected for and whether the developer shares user data with third parties,” said Suzanne Frey, product vice president for Android security and privacy. “Additionally, users want to understand how app developers secure user data after an app is downloaded.”
The transparency measure, which is inspired by Apple’s “Privacy Nutrition Labels”, was first announced by Google almost a year ago in May 2021.
The Data Security section, which will appear on each app listing on the digital storefront, presents a unified view of what data is collected, what it is used for, and how it is processed, while highlighting data shared with third parties.
In addition to that, labels can also show an app’s “security practices, such as encryption of data in transit and whether users can request deletion of data,” Frey noted, in addition to validating those practices by against security standards such as the Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS).
The feature is expected to be gradually rolled out to all users, while giving app developers a deadline of July 20, 2022 to complete the section and keep them updated if they change app features or payment methods. data processing.
That said, data security should face similar concerns as Apple in that the system is built entirely on an honor system, requiring app developers to be truthful and clear about what what they do with the data, and not to list inaccurate labels.
Apple has since said it will regularly check the labels for accuracy, ensuring the labels are trustworthy and don’t give users a false sense of security about the data collected and shared.
Google last year said it intended to institute a mechanism in place that requires developers to provide accurate information, and that it will require them to correct misrepresentations if it identifies cases. violation of the policy.
Although the search giant has explicitly stated that its app review process is not designed to certify the accuracy and completeness of data security claims provided by third-party app developers, it describes strict measures to manage such transgressions.
The company warns that it will take appropriate enforcement action when it identifies a deviation from the information provided in the section. Failure to ensure compliance may result in blocked updates or removal from Google Play.
“When Google becomes aware of a discrepancy between your app’s behavior and your statement, we may take appropriate action, including enforcement action,” the company said in an updated support article.