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Google will soon start showing privacy practices of apps on Play Store, here’s what users can see

Previously, only apps that collected personal and sensitive user data needed to share a privacy policy.


Google Play Store’s new data safety section, which requires apps to show users if and how they collect, share, and protect user data, will go live starting February 2022, the company announced in a blog post.

Google first announced this feature in May 2021, while apps on Apple’s App Store have showcased similar privacy labels since December 2020.

From April 2022, app submissions without the data safety section will not be approved for the Play Store, the company said. Google also requires all apps to provide a privacy policy by this deadline. Previously, only apps that collected personal and sensitive user data needed to share a privacy policy. All apps, including Google’s own apps, will have to comply with these new policies.

What will users see in the data safety section?

The data safety section will be on the app listing page below the “About this app” section and will contain an overview of the following details:

  • Data collection and sharing: What data the app collects and shares (personal information, location, financial information, photos, etc); including data collected and handled through third-party libraries used in the apps
  • Security practices: Is the data encrypted in transit?
  • Deletion mechanism: Can the user request the data to be deleted?
  • Families policy: Does the app comply with Google’s families policy?
  • Independent security review: Has the app been independently reviewed for conformance with a global security standard?

Source: Google

Developers can also provide more granular detail when the user clicks on a particular line item. For example, developers can explain how the data that is collected will be used, such as for app functionality, developer communication, personalisation, analytics, security, etc. Users will also be able to see if data collection is optional or required in order to use an app.

Users have shared that seeing this information helps them understand how some apps may handle their information and feel more trusting about certain apps. – Google

The company is allowing developers to fill out the data safety form starting today to allow them to get feedback and review changes. “Developers have told us that early feedback would help them fill out the form correctly,” Google said.

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