A new “Data Safety” section in the Google Play Store will now show users safety and privacy information about the app they’re attempting to download.
The feature was first revealed back in May 2021 and is just rolling out after a short delay. At the time, Google had said the feature will roll out in Q1 2022.
According to the new feature’s guidelines, developers of all apps on the Google Play Store have to provide information about how their product collects, shares and uses user data. But that’s not all.
“We heard from users and app developers that displaying the data an app collects, without additional context, is not enough,” reads Google’s blog post about the update. “Users want to know for what purpose their data is being collected and whether the developer is sharing user data with third parties. In addition, users want to understand how app developers are securing user data after an app is downloaded. That’s why we designed the Data safety section to allow developers to clearly mark what data is being collected and for what purpose it’s being used.”
This allows users to see whether an app needs to collect the data to function or whether it’s entirely optional. Additionally, the Data Safety section will also show:
- Whether the developer is collecting data and for what purpose.
- Whether the developer is sharing data with third parties.
- The app’s security practices, like encryption of data in transit and whether users can ask for data to be deleted.
- Whether a qualifying app has committed to following Google Play’s Families Policy to better protect children in the Play store.
- Whether the developer has validated their security practices against a global security standard (more specifically, the MASVS – Mobile Application Security Assessment).
Google says that developers have until July 20th to update their app’s Data Safety section.
The new section is rolling out today and will be completely rolled out in the coming weeks.
Image credit: Google