Google Play requires privacy and security information for Android apps

On May 6, 2021, Google announced that mobile app developers who send new apps and app updates to the Google Play Store will have to disclose certain information about the data collection, use, sharing and security of their apps from the second quarter of 2022 Practices as well as a privacy policy for their apps. This information will be displayed in a new “security area” of Google Play.

In particular, app developers must disclose whether their app:

  • employs security practices such as encryption;
  • Follow Google’s guidelines for families.
  • requires certain data for the app to work or when users cannot share certain data;
  • has had its “security area” checked by an independent third party; and
  • Allows app users to delete their data when they uninstall the app.

In addition, developers must specify what types of data the app collects and stores (e.g. exact location, contacts and contact information, photos and videos, audio files and storage files) and how the data is used (e.g. for app functionality or personalization ). In addition to disclosing this information, apps must also provide their own privacy policies.

Google will provide more information on these new requirements this summer. App developers who misrepresent their privacy practices in violation of these requirements must make corrections and non-compliant apps must be enforced by Google.

This move follows Apple’s new policy that went into effect on December 8, 2020. Developers must submit new apps and app updates to the Apple App Store to provide information about the app’s privacy practices, known as “privacy nutrition labels.”

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