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Google Safe Browsing Extends to Android Apps Requiring User and Device Data

05 December, 2017, 02:35 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • A worker at Google in Shanghai walks near their reception desk in their Shanghai office

The new Unwanted Software Policy from Google is actively working cut down on unwanted and malicious mobile behaviour in the Android ecosystem. And now, it's launching a new app entirely dedicated for the same on Android platforms.

The section covers requirements for how an in-app data-usage disclosure must be displayed and how the app needs to request user consent. The app provider's privacy policy must also be displayed within the application.

The Google Safe Browsing Team has announced that it will be pushing a new updated policy that requires all app developers to inform users of what data is being collected, and how they intend to use that data.

In case you don't want to block the entire background data consumption, you can also opt for the complete list of apps to let you select the ones you want to deny the access to background data. The rules stipulate that any form of data collection could trigger a Safe Browsing warning, including activity where the developer is using it to improve an app. Information uploaded as part of application logs or crash reports could result in a flag for the publisher if it contains user details that haven't been disclosed. This will apply at all times; for instance, the list of installed apps on your device can not be sent from your device during a crash report without consent.

Developers have 60 days to get with the programme before Google starts rolling it out. If a developer includes surreptitious data harvesting in an Android app, Safe Browsing will be able to detect it and warn the user.

"Additionally, if an app collects and transmits personal data unrelated to the functionality of the app then, prior to collection and transmission, the app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use", the company added.

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