Google Sends 60-Day Warning To App Developers, Brands

Brands should take note -- Google has told Android app developers and webmasters they have 60 days to give users of their products better warnings about how their products track behavior and collect data or risk being flagged in Google Play Project or on webpages that lead to their apps. 

The warning came in a set of revised Safe Browsing rules and focused on unwanted and harmful mobile behavior posted on Friday.

As part of this expanded enforcement, Google Safe Browsing will show warnings on apps and on websites leading to apps that collect personal data without a user's consent, wrote Paul Stanton, part of the safe browsing team at Google.

Stanton explains that developers will need to inform and prompt users how their apps handle device data and personal data such as phone numbers or emails, as well as provide their own privacy policy in the app. If the app collects and transmits personal data that is not related to its functions, prior to collection and transmission, it must explain how it will use the data and gain consent.

Developers and webmasters can appeal the warning. If Google flags an app or site, the webmasters can get guidance on the Search Console about the remediation and resolution of the warning. Developers should refer to the Unwanted Software Help Center.

Brands also need to pay close attention to the warning, as their reputation is at stake. A warning could reflect poorly on the brand and send consumers packing to another platform.


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