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App Permissions List Back On Google Play Store Along With Data Safety Labels: What It Means

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Google Play Store

Highlights:

  • The Google Play Store has begun removing the permissions list for apps and is adding a new “Data safety” section.
  • The Data safety section will leave it up to the developer of an app to include as much or as little detail as they choose.
  • This new change will be mandatory for all Google Play Store apps in one week.

After initially removing them in place of Data Safety labels, tech giant Google has now said that it is rolling back the app permissions list on the Play Store. The tech giant, however, did not specify when the permission section will be back on the Play Store. “Privacy and transparency are core values in the Android community. We heard your feedback that you find the app permissions section in Google Play useful, and we have decided to reinstate it. The app permissions section will be back shortly,” Android Developers wrote on Twitter.”

When Google removed this section, it basically made it impossible for users to compare the information in the app permissions section with that in the Data Safety section and get a more complete idea about what data an app is collecting and has access to. Android Developers explain in a series of tweets that Google is bringing the app permissions section soon and that the decision makes on user feedback.

Google Play Store to bring back app permissions list

Google announced the Data Safety section in May last year and it started rolling out in April this year. It is similar to what Apple calls privacy labels on the App Store and for this, developers have to tell Google what they do with the data they collect from users and provide other information like if users can ask for this data to be deleted and if the data is encrypted.

The problem, as several commentators pointed out, is that the information in the Data Safety section came from developers, whereas the app permissions section was generated by Google. By removing it, Google made it impossible for users to do a quick fact-check by comparing the two sections or to use the info from both to get a more complete picture of what an app is up to and what it has access to.

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