Google to issue warnings when apps steal your personal data

Google Assistant Gets Further Optimisations for Indian Users

Google said the new requirements are part of an expanded enforcement of its unwanted software policy, which aims to protect users from deceptive software.

Interestingly, apps installed outside Google Play Store will have to follow the new guidelines too. This includes putting the complete text of the privacy policy in the app itself.

They must also ask a user's permission before they collect and transmit personal data that's unrelated to the functionality of the program, and clearly and prominently explain how the information will be used. In the case of apps that are made available through other software repositories, Google says that the warning will be added to an app's website instead.

This amounts to "clandestine surveillance software that is unknown to Android users at the time of app installation", Yale's Privacy Labs wrote in its report.

The Safe Browsing warnings will appear "on apps and on websites leading to apps that collect a user's personal data without their consent", Google notes on its security blog.

The new policy is applicable to all functions of an app.

The changes reflect an update in August to the Personal and Sensitive Information section of Google's Developer Policy Center.

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

The affirmative consent request dialog needs to be presented in a clear and unambiguous way. Any app that collects personal data will be subject to the new rules.

Websites owners that attract a Safe Browsing warning will need to follow the usual processes in the Search Console if they want to resolve the warnings.

New and existing applications will have 60 days to conform to these new rules, or developers risk their app displaying the new message asking for consent.

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