Google Rolls Out 'Data Safety' Section Showing Android Users What's Being Collected

Google has begun the rollout of a "data safety" section for Android apps on the Play Store to highlight the type of data being collected and shared with third-parties.

Developers, as of July 20, will be required to provide more information about how apps collect, share and secure user data. As app developers update functions or change data practices, the new information will serve up in the apps’ Data safety section.

"We heard from users and app developers that displaying the data an app collects, without additional context, is not enough," Suzanne Frey, vice president of product for Android security and privacy, wrote in a post. " Users want to know for what purpose their data is being collected and whether the developer is sharing user data with third parties.”



The data also will give Google insight into how app developers secure user data after an app is downloaded. The section asked developers to clearly mark what data is collected and for what purpose it's being used.

Think of the format similar to Apple’s Privacy Labels, where the purpose of the label is to help customers understand the process.

Apple routinely audits labels for accuracy to ensure that the information is reliable. Last year, Google said it would put “mechanisms” in place to audit the listing.

Developers can provide the information through a form in the new Data safety section on the App content page in Play Console. Google will review the information after it’s submitted, as part of the process. It will serve up on the developer’s store listing to help Google Play users understand how the data is collected and shared before the user can download the app.

Users will see the words “no data collected” if the app doesn't collect or share any user data with other companies or organizations.

Developers with apps that do not collect any user data also are required to complete the form and provide a link to their privacy policy.

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