Google Play ‘App Privacy & Security’ section mandatory for Android apps from April 2022: Developers must attach ‘Nutrition Labels’ to reveal data collection practices

App Privacy and Security Section Google Play Store
Nutrition Labels for Android apps are mandatory starting early next year. Pic credit: Bram.Koster/Flickr

Google has offered more information about its ‘Nutrition Labels’ for Android Apps. The Google Play ‘App Privacy & Security’ section will be mandatory for Android apps starting from April 2022.

Android apps on the Google Play Store will have to offer details about the type of data they collect. They will have to share their privacy and security policies as well to offer more transparency.

All Google Play Store Apps will have to mandatorily offer information about their data collection, storage, processing practices:

Google had previously announced upcoming changes to the Google Play Store that required app developers to share what info their apps collect, how they use the collected data, and what privacy/security features the apps utilize.

Apple Inc. had pioneered the Nutrition Labels for all the apps on the iOS App Store. Incidentally, Apple also has a system-level security prompt that allows iPhone users to deny tracking.

Coming back to Google, the newly available information will appear in a new ‘Safety section’ for each app on Google Play Store. The new section will start appearing in the first quarter of 2022. The information will allow users to see the types of data the app collects by the app, its Privacy Policy, and security features before they install it.

Apps will have to include the types of data it collects. They will also have to mention which types of data it shares with third parties. The app can try to win confidence by confirming if it uses data encryption, follows Google’s Families policies, or whether it has been through independent audits for global security standards.

Google imposes strict deadline about offering ‘App Privacy & Security’ section for Android apps in Play Store:

Google has now announced additional policy changes. The company requires all app developers to include a Privacy Policy. Additionally, developers must also disclose data that the app’s third-party libraries or SDKs use.

The “App Privacy & Security” section will become available on an app’s content page on Play Console, starting October 2021. Subsequently, developers can begin filling up a questionnaire. They will have to provide information about the data their apps collect, the app’s security features, and Privacy Policy.

General Google Play Store users will start seeing an app’s “App Privacy & Security” section early next year. The section would obviously include all of the data that the app developer provided. However, for the section to appear, the developer must have also provided a Privacy Policy for the app.

Google has mandated that starting April 2022, all apps must have a completed “App Privacy & Security” section as well as a Privacy Policy. Interestingly, if there are unresolved issues or gaps within the section, Google Play will reject all app updates until developers complete the section.

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