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Google Play hides app permissions in favor of developer-written descriptions

Google’s developer deadline for the new “Data Protection” section of the Play Store is next week (July 20), and we’re starting to see what the future of Google Play privacy will look like. The actual data protection section debuted in April, but now that the developer deadline is approaching… Google is turning off Separate “App Permissions” section? This doesn’t sound like a great move for privacy at all.

The new Data Protection section of the Play Store is Google’s answer to a similar feature in iOS 14, displaying a list of privacy considerations provided by the developer, such as what data an app collects, how that data is stored. is done, and with whom the data is shared. At first, the data protection entries may seem similar to an old list of app permissions. You get items like “Location” and in some ways, it’s better than a generic list of permissions because developers can specify how and why each bit of data is collected.

the difference is How That data ends up in Google’s system. The old list of app permissions was guaranteed to be factual as it was created by Google automatically scanning the app. The data protection system, meanwhile, runs on the Honor system. Here’s Google’s explanation to developers of how the new section works:

You are solely responsible for making a complete and accurate declaration of your App Store listing on Google Play. Google Play reviews apps for all policy requirements; However, we cannot determine on behalf of the developers how they handle user data. Only you have all the information needed to complete the data protection form. When Google becomes aware of a discrepancy between your App behavior and your announcement, we may take appropriate action, including enforcement action.

It was not entirely clear that the permissions section would be gone when Data Protection was launched. It’s a strange regression to move from computer-verified facts to the honor system. It’s also hard to rely on Google’s ability to “anomaly be aware” in the data protection screen, when the Play Store already has a vast amount of enforcement and regulation issues. It seems like it would be better to combine the two systems- generate a list of permissions and let the developers know how each is used.

Image listed by Google Play

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