The search giant will add a new safety section to app listings in the Play Store — according to a timeline Google shared, that should show up for users sometime in Q1 2022. The section will include information about data collection, privacy and security practices.
For example, the section will list if apps collect information like location, contacts or personal details like email addresses. Moreover, Google wants app developers to use the space to contextualize why they collect that data. That could look like developers sharing how collected data helps with certain functionality in an app.
Google also wants apps to share information about whether it encrypts data, whether apps comply with Google’s policies for kid’s apps and whether users can opt out of data collection. Finally, Play Store listings will include information about whether a third party has verified the safety section and will show if users can request that their data be deleted.
As mentioned up top, Google’s new safety section won’t go into effect right away. Instead, the announcement serves as a warning for developers. The full policy will become available in Q3 of this year, and developers will be able to start declaring information in Q4. Finally, Google says the deadline for all new and existing apps to declare data collection information will be Q2 2022. Developers that don’t meet the deadline could see app updates blocked.
And, for those wondering, the new policies will apply to Google’s own apps. Google took quite a long time to add privacy labels to its iOS apps after Apple added the system to the App Store, spurring speculation the company didn’t want users to know the extent of its data collection.
This comes after Google announced new policies to prevent developers from using scammy tactics like all-caps text and eye-catching banners to highlight their apps on the Play Store.