Earlier this spring, Google announced the development of a new safety section coming to the Play Store next year, and today Google is now following up with more details on the kind of information apps will be required to provide including new mandatory privacy policies.
Google says that by announcing guidelines for its safety section now, Google hopes app developers will have enough time to respond to upcoming changes before the safety section officially goes live in Q1 2022. And while Google is still figuring out the final design of the safety section, it has also provided some early mock-ups of what it might look like ahead of its arrival next year.
Because Google’s new safety section is intended to more clearly provide info about a specific app’s privacy and security, things like how your data is being used and accessed will need to be clearly listed along with info on whether data collection is required for an app to work or not. Furthermore, all of this info is expected to be available on every app listing in the Play Store, so users can get a sense of an app’s privacy and security before they install it.
For devs that aren’t able to provide an approved security section in time, Google says any new apps or app updates from that dev may get rejected, with the safety section for non-compliant apps set to display a line saying “No information available.” That means when the Play Store’s safety section finally arrives, it should be quite clear which apps were able to provide a fleshed-out safety section and which apps did not. Previously, privacy policies were only required for family-friendly apps in the Play Store.
But, clearly, the bigger picture is that with an increased focus on digital privacy and security, Google is hoping to make it easier to see and understand how your data is being used across all your apps, which is a change that should be good for both regular folk and developers alike.