Google Safe Browsing Tool to Warn About Unwanted User Data Collection

Google Safe Browsing Tool to Warn About Unwanted User Data Collection

Google Safe Browsing Tool to Warn About Unwanted User Data Collection

According to the new policy, any apps handling users' personal information like email addresses or phone numbers, or device data will have to prompt users before doing so. Or they can simply ignore the change and hope that most users will continue to ignore Android's numerous warnings. If Google flags an app or site, the webmasters can get guidance on the Search Console about the remediation and resolution of the warning.

The Google Safe Browsing Team has announced that it will be pushing a new updated policy that requires all app developers to inform users of what data is being collected, and how they intend to use that data.

"These data collection requirements apply to all functions of the app". 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.

Google describes unwanted software as any application or tool that is deceptive or tries to trick users into installing it by promising a false value proposition.

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.

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It must also be displayed within the normal usage of the app and not be buried in settings. Any app that collects personal data will be subject to the new rules. Failure to comply will result in a Safe Browsing warning from Google.

Popular apps such as Uber, Spotify, and Tinder use Google's Crashlytics crash reporting feature to access insights into people's behaviour.

"Prior to collection and transmission, the app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use", Google said.

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

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