This is what the Google Play security labels will look like (Android app privacy and security information)

Earlier this year, Google announced plans to make it easier for users to make informed decisions about the privacy and security risks posed by the apps they install from the Google Play Store.

Now the company is setting new policies for developers and giving users an idea of ​​what the new security section will look like when it starts arriving next year.

In a nutshell, the new security section is Google’s response to the “nutrition labels” that Apple recently added to the App Store, both by allowing users to see what personal data is being collected by an app and how they are protected and / or used. .

For example, developers can highlight the use of data encryption or indicate whether the application has been independently reviewed and validated against a global security standard. And users can see if an app requires their location, contact, or other personal information and why the app is asking for it.

In terms of policy changes, Google will start demanding all applications to have a privacy policy. Previously, this was only a requirement for applications that collected “personal and sensitive user data”. And developers will be responsible for submitting accurate data to the security section of their Play Store app listings, including how the data is used by third-party libraries or SDKs.

Users will always ultimately be the ones who call to find out whether or not they trust an app after reading its privacy and data security information. But having one place to find all of this information should make things a bit easier.

Google says the design of the security section has not been finalized, but the images posted on the Android Developer Blog (including those featured in this article) give a rough idea of ​​what users may be up to. wait.

Users are expected to start seeing the security section in the first quarter of 2022, but developers will have until April 2022 before have to have an approved security section in order to submit new applications or post updates for existing applications. So it might not be until the middle of next year that you really start to see the security sections popping up widely.

Before that happens, Google is rolling out a user-centric privacy update this year.

Later in 2021, the company will allow users running Android 12 to remove their advertising ID, which replaces the personalized ID with a string of zeros in order to opt out of seeing personalized or interest-based ads in any apps running on their devices. phones.

Developers who are currently using Ad IDs for things like analysis or fraud prevention will instead be able to use an “Application Set ID” which cannot be used for advertisements, but can be used instead. used for other “critical use cases”. These unique identifiers will apply to all of a specific developer’s apps on a specific device, and they’ll automatically reset if a user doesn’t touch any of those apps for a year.

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