Google has started rolling out a new Data Safety section that will appear on the store listings of all Android apps on the Google Play Store. The new feature will help users to better understand what kind of data the apps they install from the Play Store can collect.
Overall, Google’s Data Safety section for the Play Store is quite similar to the App Privacy section Apple introduced on its App Store with iOS 14. Google says that developers will have until July 20th to complete this section with details about how their apps can collect, share and secure users’ data.
“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. Users can also see whether the app needs this data to function or if this data collection is optional, explained Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy.
If this new Data Safety section on the Google Play Store is a useful addition, it won’t really make a difference if Android users don’t take the time to check out the information developers are providing. It also won’t replace the need for users to check the different permissions they’re giving to the Android apps they’re installing.
Android used to lag behind iOS regarding privacy features, but recent versions of the OS now have an Android Privacy dashboard where users can check which apps can access their contacts, camera, location data, and more. Google is also working to limit data sharing with third parties by bringing its Privacy Shield to Android.