We work hard to keep Google Play a safe, trusted space for people to enjoy the latest Android apps. Today, we’re launching a new feature, the Data safety section, where developers will be required to give people more information about how apps collect, share and secure users’ data. Users will start seeing the Data safety section in Google Play today, and developers are required to complete this section for their apps by July 20th. As app developers update their functionality or change their data handling practices, they will show the latest in the apps’ Data safety section.
A unified view of app safety in Google Play
We heard from users and app developers that displaying the data an app collects, without additional context, is not enough. Users want to know for what purpose their data is being collected and whether the developer is sharing user data with third parties. In addition, users want to understand how app developers are securing user data after an app is downloaded. That’s why 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.
Here are the information developers can show in the Data safety section:
- Whether the developer is collecting data and for what purpose.
- Whether the developer is sharing data with third parties.
- The app’s security practices, like encryption of data in transit and whether users can ask for data to be deleted.
- Whether a qualifying app has committed to following Google Play’s Families Policy to better protect children in the Play store.
- Whether the developer has validated their security practices against a global security standard (more specifically, the MASVS).
Putting users in control, before and after you download
Giving users more visibility into how apps collect, share and secure their data through the Data safety section is just one way we’re keeping the Android users and ecosystem safe.
We’ve also worked hard to give users control of installed apps through simple permissions features. For example, when an app asks to access “your location”, users can quickly and easily decide whether they want to grant that permission - for one time use, only while using the app, or all the time. For sensitive permissions like camera, microphone, or location data, people can go to the Android Privacy dashboard to review data access by apps.
Apps should help users explore the world, connect with loved ones, do work, learn something new, and more without compromising user safety. The new Data safety section, in addition to Google Play’s existing safety features, gives people the visibility and control they need to enjoy their apps.
To learn more about Google Play’s Data safety section, check out this guide.