It’s no surprise to anyone — we hope — that your mobile phone OS, apps and yes, social platforms in general collect data about you. But what can be surprising is what data, the volume of data and how they use that to both their and your advantage. Let’s be brutally honest for a minute: While some apps do use data they collect about you for a better experience, it’s usually for their gain.

A change to requirements for developers means they will now have to be transparent about all of the above:

So in addition to the data an app collects or shares, we’re introducing new elements to highlight whether:

  1. The app has security practices, like data encryption
  2. The app follows our Families policy
  3. The app needs this data to function or if users have choice in sharing it
  4. The app’s safety section is verified by an independent third-party
  5. The app enables users to request data deletion, if they decide to uninstall
  6. This can be a big change, so we’re sharing this in advance and building with developers alongside us

What this section will include, among other things, we’ll ask developers to share:

  • What type of data is collected and stored: Examples of potential options are approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), photos & videos, audio files, and storage files
  • How the data is used: Examples of potential options are app functionality and personalization

For developers, this is a fairly significant change, so it’s not something Google has dropped without notice. In fact, we’re in the notice period with new apps being required to have the privacy policy and disclosure in place ready for Q2 2022. If developers are ready before then, they’ll be able to add the required information to their apps via the Developers Console in the Play Store.