Google withdraws app permissions section in Play Store after backlash


Google has faced criticism surrounding the removal of the App Permissions section for Play Store listings. In a series of tweets, Google’s Android developers said that the newly named Data Safety section will soon be replaced with the good old section, which listed what permissions the app uses. This change, it said, is the result of user feedback.

Earlier this month, Google announced a major change to the Play Store, in which the section listing the permissions required for apps to run properly on your device was replaced with data protection. The new section, while it goes on, informs users about the information the app may collect. Not that it wasn’t useful, but it failed to provide immediate information on permissions.

What is the difference?

Simply put, Google started showing what information an app would collect from your phone and account in the data protection section. While there is nothing wrong with this, this information was provided by the app developer. As such, an app with malicious code could pass as benign, simply because its developer said so in the listing. This is in contrast to app permissions that Google used to obtain for the app itself, rather than relying on information from the developer.

The data protection section makes it impossible for users to quickly compare permissions and other information about an app to make it clear what it will have access to.

The fact that Google thought about the data protection action has everything to do with Apple’s privacy label. For an app to be listed in the App Store, a developer must tell Apple how it collects user data and what it does with it. Google highlighted the same need when it announced data protection in 2021. But at the expense of the important App Permissions section in the Play Store.

Google demanded developers disclose data collection and store information on the listing of their apps in the Play Store. It also said that it will take action against the app if the information given in the listing is found to be incorrect.

Google withdraws app permissions in Play Store after backlash, first appears on BGR India.

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