Google Safe Browsing Tool to Warn About Unwanted User Data Collection

Gwen Vasquez
December 5, 2017

Google is introducing significant changes to how it enforces its Unwanted Software Policy, which should result in better privacy and transparency for the world's two billion Android users. And now, it's launching a new app entirely dedicated for the same on Android platforms. If an app continues to stray from the policy, users are likely to see its Safe Browsing full-page warnings, which will probably drive users away from the offending software. Afterwards, website administrators and app publishers will be able to view any data collection strikes.

Google has announced that it has beefed up its efforts to keep Android users safe by expanding the enforcement of its Unwanted Software Policy.

Apps that collect crash information will also be subject to this policy, and will be limited in how much information they can transmit without user approval.

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Recent research by Yale University's Privacy Lab and Exodus Privacy showed that three quarters of Android apps contain trackers that collect user data for targeted advertising, to glean their locations, and to analyse behaviour.

Developers have 60 days to get with the programme before Google starts rolling it out. Apart from highlighting the consumption, Datally will also suggest you the ways to bring down that consumption based on your usage and activity. Notably, these new guidelines will prevent apps from collecting user data which is not necessary. 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. App developers caught by the new Safe Browsing warnings can request an app review on the App Verifications and Appeals support page. Interestingly, it does not matter whether apps are featured in Google Play or they come via other marketplaces.

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