Google is now cracking down apps that track data without permission

Google is now cracking down apps that track data without permission

The crackdown is a new effort to combat malicious and harmful Android apps and will apply to software distributed through the Play Store as well as third-party Android app markets.

The section covers requirements for how an in-app data-usage disclosure must be displayed and how the app needs to request user consent.

Installing apps from external sources can lead you to an infection because apps aren't necessarily validated by store approval teams. Afterwards, website administrators and app publishers will be able to view any data collection strikes. After 60 days, Google Play Protect will warn users about apps installed on their phones and when users try to install new apps that fail to disclose user data collection practices. Notably, these new guidelines will prevent apps from collecting user data which is not necessary. "Additionally, 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".

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As one example, Stanton said an application would not be permitted to send data unrelated to the app during app analytics and crash reporting sessions without it first notifying the user of what it is doing and obtaining permission for that transmission.

Not that these weren't available in Android until now, but Google's app provide a single space to get all the tasks done related to data consumption and management.

The changes reflect an update in August to the Personal and Sensitive Information section of Google's Developer Policy Center. Interestingly, it does not matter whether apps are featured in Google Play or they come via other marketplaces. The company says that if app developers refuse to comply, Google will display a warning of its own.

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