Google to clamp down on Android app snooping

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Antara Kumar

By Sankalp Phartiyal and Antara Kumar

Apps can also be submitted for manual review if a developer feels their use of data collection falls within the guidelines.

The crackdown is a new effort to combat malicious and harmful Android apps and will apply to software distributed through the Play Store as well as third-party Android app markets.

Once the user has installed the app on their Android device, the app will need to prompt a privacy policy that explicitly mentions what kind of data it procures from the user. If Google flags an app or site, the webmasters can get guidance on the Search Console about the remediation and resolution of the warning. "Additionally, if an app collects and transmits personal data unrelated to the functionality of the app then, prior to collection and transmission, the app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use".

In case you don't want to block the entire background data consumption, you can also opt for the complete list of apps to let you select the ones you want to deny the access to background data.

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. For instance, the app will not be allowed to send crash reports and analytics reports without the consent of the owner. Developers should refer to the Unwanted Software Help Center.

Websites owners that attract a Safe Browsing warning will need to follow the usual processes in the Search Console if they want to resolve the warnings. Any app that collects personal data will be subject to the new rules. The company says that if app developers refuse to comply, Google will display a warning of its own.

Users will be warned through Google's safe browsing feature about apps that collect personal data without consent.

Cinnabon fuses cookie, cinnamon bun for new treat on National Cookie Day
Colin Kaepernick makes shortlist for Time's 'Person of the Year'