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Google Is Clamping Down On App Data Collection

05 December 2017

Developers have been given 60 days to comply with what is described as an expansion of Google's existing Unwanted Software Policy. And now, it's launching a new app entirely dedicated for the same on Android platforms. If this requirement isn't met, warnings may be shown on users' devices.

In case you don't want to block the entire background data consumption, you can also opt for the complete list of apps to let you select the ones you want to deny the access to background data.

Google will start to display warnings on Android devices and webpages about third-party apps that collect personal data without users' consent, in an effort to prevent "unwanted and harmful" behaviour.

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Developers of apps that collect user data for purposes unrelated to the application's core function will now have to spell out why they are collecting the data and how they plan on using it. Users will need to provide their consent before the application can be used.

Recent research by Yale University's Privacy Lab and Exodus Privacy showed that three quarters of Android apps contain trackers that collect user data for targeted advertising, to glean their locations, and to analyse behaviour. This will apply at all times; for instance, the list of installed apps on your device can not be sent from your device during a crash report without consent.

The changes reflect an update in August to the Personal and Sensitive Information section of Google's Developer Policy Center.

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In order to avoid Google's ban hammer, Android app developers must follow a series of rules regarding user data collection and disclosure.

The company did not say whether the new policy of privacy violation warnings will apply to its own software as well.

On its blog post, Google said, "These requirements apply to apps in Google Play and non-Play app markets".

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Google Is Clamping Down On App Data Collection