Google announced that it would bring a new safety section to the Play app store that will enable Android smartphone users to see what data developers gather and exchange about them, as well as include additional privacy and security details.
Android app developers have until the second quarter of 2022 to announce this detail, according to a blog post published by Alphabet Inc. on Thursday. In the first three months of 2022, users will be able to access the Google Play protection site.
The transparency push is similar to competitor Apple Inc.’s move in 2020 to require software developers to reveal what information they collect and what they do about it. iOS 14.5, Apple’s most recent mobile device upgrade, provides an App Tracking Transparency function that allows consumers to sign in to being monitored by applications for targeted ads. Developers anticipate sales loss as a result of this move because most users would refuse to get their data collected.
Google, which is reliant on advertisement sales, has taken a more cautious stance. Google is debating how it can restrict data collection and cross-app monitoring on the Android operating system in a manner that is less restrictive than Apple’s approach.
The Google Play safety section would also warn users whether an app encrypts data, whether it adheres to Google’s policy for families and children, whether users have a preference in exchanging details, and whether they may request data deletion if they uninstall an app.