Google seems to be cracking down on developers that collect personal user data without consent. It is also tightening the rules on which ads can appear in Android applications. According to an article by TechSpot, Google’s “Safe Browsing team has expanded its Unwanted Software Policy to address further ‘unwanted and harmful behaviors on Android.’”
This includes apps that handle data – such as phone numbers, email addresses, etc. – being required to prompt users for permission to collect that information. Likewise, apps’ privacy policies must be displayed within the application itself. TechSpot explains that the amended rules now state that “if an app collects and transmits personal data that is unrelated to its functions, then it must highlight this fact before transmission and seek consent from the user first.”
Best of all? If developers don’t comply within 60 days of these new rules being posted, Google will notify users via Google Play Protect that these apps could potentially breach their expectations of privacy. This continues Google’s trend of fighting against ads that it considers to be “deceptive, disruptive, inappropriate, or interfere with applications or device functionality.” These apps continue to be regularly removed from the Google Play Store, and have been for quite some time.