Google is introducing significant changes in the way it applies its unwanted software policy, which should result in better privacy and transparency for the two billion Android users in the world.
Google is giving developers two months to make sure their applications do not deviate from their unwanted Software policy. If an application continues to deviate from the policy, users are likely to see their full-page navigation warnings, which will likely drive users away from the offending software.
Repression is a new effort to combat harmful and damaging Android applications and will apply to software distributed through Play Store, as well as to third-party Android application markets.
Safe Browsing warnings will appear "in applications and on websites that lead to applications that collect a user's personal data without their consent," Google says on their security blog.
In other words, the warnings can be applied to the sites and software that promote applications that violate its policy, as well as to the offensive applications themselves.
Developers should also provide a way for users to give their "affirmative consent" if an application collects and transmits personal data that is not related to the functionality of the application. The application also needs to explain prominently how user data will be used.
"These data collection requirements apply to all functions of the application, for example, during the badysis and failure reporting, the list of installed packages not related to the application can not be transmitted from the device without a Outstanding disclosure and affirmative consent, "Google explains.
The changes reflect an update in August of the Personal and Confidential Information section of the Google Developer Policy Center. The modified policy introduced a requirement for an application to provide prominent disclosure if it collects and transmits personal user data that is not related to the main functionality of the application described in the Play Store list.
The section covers the requirements on how a disclosure of data usage should be displayed within the application and how the application needs to request the user's consent.
For example, the disclosure in the application must be displayed within the application itself and not just in the Play Store list or on a website.
The affirmative consent request dialogue must be presented clearly and unambiguously. To obtain consent, the user must touch to accept or mark a check box.
Google points out that two common infractions occur when an application does not treat a user's installed applications as personal or confidential user data and when an application does not treat the user's phone or contact book as personal data. Applications will be considered to violate Google's policy if they do not follow the rules of prominent disclosure.
Owners of websites that attract a Safe Browsing warning should follow the usual processes in Search Console if they wish to resolve the warnings. Application developers caught by the new Safe Browsing warnings can request a review of the application on the application's Verifications and Appeals support page.
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