Google Brings Android App Permissions Section Back to Play Store

Android app permissions

Google said Thursday it was reversing a recent change that removed the Google Play Store’s list of app permissions for Android on both the mobile app and the web.

“Privacy and transparency are core values ​​in the Android community,” Android Developer Team said in a series of tweets. “We’ve heard your feedback that you find the app permissions section in Google Play useful, and we’ve decided to reinstate it. The app permissions section will be back shortly.”

To that end, in addition to introducing the new Data Security section which provides users with a simplified summary of an application’s data collection, processing and security practices, Google also intends to highlight all permissions required by the app to make sense of its “ability to access specific restricted data and actions.”


cyber security

The reinstatement comes as the internet giant moved to replace the app permission section with the new data security labels last week ahead of the July 20, 2022 application deadline, which requires developers to provide information on “how they collect and manage user data for the apps they publish on Google Play.”

A quick check, however, shows that apps like Tor Browser, Discord, and those from Amazon, including its namesake app, Kindle, Alexa, Amazon Music, and Amazon Photos, continue to lack a data security section.

The new system also comes with its own set of problems in that it relies entirely on developers to make “complete and accurate statements”, potentially leading to scenarios where it could be misleading or outright inaccurate.

In contrast, the list of app permissions is derived from the permissions declared by the developer in an app’s folder. manifest file.

cyber security

It should be noted that Apple’s App Store has a similar policy in place for its privacy “nutrition” labels that allows developers to highlight “self-reported summaries of some of their privacy practices”, a method which, as a Washington Post report found, “is not helpful.”

Google, however, clarifies in its supporting documents that it can take appropriate enforcement action if it encounters instances where there is a discrepancy between the app’s behavior and its statement.

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