Google to Flag Apps That Snoop Without Permission


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. If an app continues to stray from the policy, users are likely to see its Safe Browsing full-page warnings, which will probably drive users away from the offending software.

Google Play Store offers a myriad of apps, most of which require access to your personal data before being installed on your Android smartphone.

Applications that handle personal device and user data, like phone numbers or emails, will be required to prompt users and display their own privacy policy.

This extends beyond those found on the Play Store, to those found anywhere on the internet as per a new set of guidelines on how data handling should be conducted by developers. The app also needs to prominently explain how user data will be used.

Safe browsing will also be used to warn users about websites that lead to apps that collect personal information without first seeking a user's consent. 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. This covers anything from location data to crash reports, which often include a list of apps the user has installed. The apps will be considered to violate Google's policy if they don't follow the rules for prominent disclosure. The regulations will come into place in the next "60 days" - let's say, February 1- and a Safe Browsing/ Google Play Protect warning will be shown on all pages leading to the non-compliant apps. The warnings should help users to know that there might be possible dangers ahead.