Google is hoping to improve public perception of its data collection, and that of its apps by launching a new Data Safety feature. The feature is part of the Play Store and should provide essential information on what data apps collect.
Data Safety will also provide the ability to view:
All app developers are required to have this information compiled and published by July 20 2022.
According to Google:
"We heard from users and app developers that displaying the data an app collects, without additional context, is not enough. Users want to know for what purpose their data is being collected and whether the developer is sharing user data with third parties."
This is a good move on Google’s part. It brings the Play Store closer to the Apple App Store in terms of disclosure and goes some way to improving trust.
We all know Google makes its billions largely from our data and that we have traditionally had little control over what and how that data is used. While we don’t imagine Google itself will be changing anytime soon, at least the apps we use every day will.
It’s one small step forwards within an ecosystem that has held users hostage for a long time. We could either keep our data private but would have to live without popular apps, search engines or phones, or surrender our data so companies could make profit.
While not a whole lot has changed, this is a solid step forwards and one we hope will continue with more positive changes. Even if we cannot control who collects what, knowing a little more about what is collected and why, and how that data is protected helps a little.
As long as Google polices it and checks the validity of what the developer adds to Google Data Safety of course!