Google has some pretty tight rules on developers who want to publish applications on the Play Store. Users who keep an eye on them know that the developer rules are regularly changed and more importantly refined to ensure that developers are playing by the rules and not creatively interpreting them.
The announcement on the Developers blog by VP of Product Management – Sameer Samat – demonstrates clearly that Google are taking very seriously their responsibility in ensuring that developers are not inappropriately acquiring or using your private data.
This renewed focus will come to fruition largely when Android Q is released to production users (the Android Q Beta is currently running for those brave enough to try it) and will continue to tighten these further as time goes on.
For years, we’ve required developers to disclose the collection and use of personal data so users can understand how their information is being used, and to only use the permissions that are really needed to deliver the features and services of the app.
As part of Project Strobe, which we announced last October, we are rolling out specific guidance for each of the Android runtime permissions, and we are holding apps developed by Google to the same standard.
The blog also notes that they’ve learned extensively from the developer feedback now offering a clearer permissions declaration, reviews and appeals will be far more timely, access to real humans is far easier and they’ll be adding to this human team to make this even faster.
As someone who regularly tries out apps (often from unknown/startup developers) I find it really comforting to know that developers who don’t have a strong and proven track record will be under tighter scrutiny until they develop that reputation with users and with Google.