Google Play Store Adds Privacy Info

John Lister's picture

Google has started including detailed privacy information about the Android apps in the official Play Store. It's up to developers to fill out the details and Google won't be checking them in advance.

The listings page for each app will now have a summary box listing key data privacy and security details. Users can then click or tap through to see more detailed information.

The box will note how many types of data the app collects, whether it is stored in encrypted form, and whether user can easily delete it. It will also list if the developer has put the app through an independent privacy and security audit.

The full listing will break down the different types of data the app collects and say whether the developer simply collects the data or also shares it with third parties. Examples of data types include location, user activity, contacts, search history and app performance.

Users can then click on each data type for even more details including how the data is collected and the ways in which it is used.

Honor System

Although the feature is now rolling out for users, developers don't have to fill in the details until July 20, 2022. Google won't be checking the details before they appear, noting that it doesn't have any way to verify that developers are telling the truth about how they user data. (Source:

It does say that if it 'becomes aware of a discrepancy between your app behavior and your declaration, we may take appropriate action, including enforcement action." (Source:

Unified Approach

Previously app store listings have mainly handled privacy by requiring developers to link to an external privacy policy, for example on their website. What information that policy includes and how it's presented will vary significantly between developers and may depend on which countries they operate in and what privacy laws affect them.

Google says the new system will make it much easier to see the privacy practices of different developers and apps and to compare the way they collect and use data.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you worry about data privacy when selecting apps? Is the new listing a useful way to provide this information? Do you trust developers to be honest in these listings?

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Focused100's picture

It's never ending battle between Google and nefarious developers/malware providers to keep bad stuff out of the play store. I read Brian Krebs security newsletter every week. He has stated malware providers are constantly tweaking their payloads to hide them from users.

They offer SDKs (software development kits) to app producers to help build an app. When what their really doing is collecting user data without ANYONES knowledge or consent and/or loading malware or viruses onto smart phones by the millions.