Android Gains Safe Browsing Features To Out Apps Collecting Data Without Permission

Caesar Sengupta vice-president of Billion Users Google’s initiative to connect all Indians to the internet

Under a new "Unwanted Software Policy" announced late last week, Google will now show warnings when apps acquired in this manner tamper with personal data. Developers must also be transparent when collecting personal data unrelated to the functionality in the apps they're offering (a weather or battery-saving app that needs access to your phone contacts, for instance). READ NEXT:Facebook launches new messaging app for kids "In our efforts to protect users and serve developers, the Google Safe Browsing team has expanded enforcement of Google's Unwanted Software Policy to further tamp down on unwanted and harmful mobile behaviors on Android", said Google.

"Apps handling personal user data (such as user phone number or email), or device data will be required to prompt users and to provide their own privacy policy in the app", Google explained.

The company did not say whether the new policy of privacy violation warnings will apply to its own software as well. So if you're a developer and your app collects personal data, you have a little under two months to get your apps to comply with these new rules.

Apps that collect crash information will also be subject to this policy, and will be limited in how much information they can transmit without user approval. 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 just recently listed new rules that ban apps from displaying ads on user's lock screen.

Users will be warned through Google's safe browsing feature about apps that collect personal data without consent. To be able to transmit that data, the user must be shown a prominent disclosure and give affirmative consent.

Google Safe Browsing has proven to be quite effective in the past.

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