Google has introduced a new feature in the Play Store, called “Data Safety.” The feature aims to inform users about how apps collect, protect, and use their data before they download them. The Data Safety feature will give users more control and visibility over what data apps access and how they use it.

Purpose and Collection of Data

Google created the Data Safety feature based on feedback from users and app developers, who felt that displaying the data an app collects without additional context was insufficient. The Data Safety feature allows developers to clearly indicate the data they collect and its purpose. This includes whether the developer is collecting data, the reason for collecting it, and whether the developer shares data with third parties. Additionally, the feature displays the app’s security practices.

Security Practices

The Data Safety feature also includes information on the app’s security practices, such as encryption of data in transit, the ability for users to request deletion of their data, and whether the app follows Google Play’s family policy. The family policy aims to protect children in the Play Store. Furthermore, the feature indicates whether the developer has validated their security practices against a global standard, the Mobile Application Security Assessment.

Control Over Data Access

With the Data Safety feature, users can now have more control over the data app’s access. Users can grant permission for one-time use, use while using the app, or all the time. Users can also review the access level of their apps on the Android Privacy dashboard.

Similar to Apple’s “Nutrition Labels”

Google announced the Data Safety feature in July, and it covers both first-party and third-party app developers. The feature is similar to Apple’s “nutrition labels” for apps, which provide users with information on the data an app collects and how it is used.

In conclusion, the Data Safety feature in the Google Play Store is a positive step towards giving users more control and visibility over the data apps collect and use. It provides users with essential information on the app’s data collection and security practices, allowing them to make informed decisions about which apps to download.