Striving towards better user privacy, Google’s Safe Browsing team on Friday announced new and improved regulations for Android apps that are both on and off the Google Play Store. Now, app developers handling user and device data will have to provide their own privacy policies after installation. Failure to comply will result in a Safe Browsing warning from Google.
These requirements will apply during all instances when the app has to collect personal or device data from the user. For instance, the app will not be allowed to send crash reports and analytics reports without the consent of the owner. 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. This gives Android developers about two months to update their apps and make them compliant with the new rule.
On its blog post, Google said, “These requirements apply to apps in Google Play and non-Play app markets. The Google Play team has also published guidelines for how Play apps should handle user data and provide disclosure.”
Google Safe Browsing has proven to be quite effective in the past. The new Unwanted Software Policy from Google is actively working cut down on unwanted and malicious mobile behaviour in the Android ecosystem. Gmail was recently updated with anti-phishing checks that put up Safe Browsing warnings before clicking on a malicious link received in an e-mail.