Google on Thursday said developers on Play Store will have to share details of the type of data collected and stored by their app and explain how the information is used, a move aimed at enabling users get more control over their data.
Google will share the new policy requirements and resources, including detailed guidance on app privacy policies in the third quarter this year, and developers can start declaring information in Google Play Console in the fourth quarter of 2021, a blogpost said.
In the first quarter of 2022, users will be able to start seeing the section on Google Play, and second quarter onward, new app submissions and app updates will have to include these details, it added.
"We work closely with developers to keep Google Play a safe, trusted space for billions of people to enjoy the latest Android apps. Today, we're pre-announcing an upcoming safety section in Google Play that will help people understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security," Google Vice President Product (Android Security and Privacy) Suzanne Frey said.
The new elements introduced will highlight whether the app has security practices (like data encryption), follows Google's Families policy, and whether the app needs this data to function or if users have a choice of sharing it.
The section will also help in highlighting if the app's safety section is verified by an independent third-party, and whether the app enables users to request data deletion if they decide to uninstall.
"Among other things, we'll ask developers to share what type of data is collected and stored. Examples of potential options are approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), photos and videos, audio files, and storage files," the blog said.
Also, developers will have to state how the data is used like app functionality and personalisation.
Google said developers found to be in violation of the policy, will be required to fix it. Apps that don't become compliant will be subject to policy enforcement, it added.