Explained: Google’s New Safety Section On Play Store That Shows What Data Apps Are Collecting

Google Play Store’s safety section will show users what data apps are taking and how they are using it. (Image Credit: Google)

Google safety section on the Play Store is similar to Apple’s privacy labels on the App Store that was launched in 2020.

Google is making things more safe for Android users on the Google Play Store. The company is finally rolling out the Safety Section on the Google Play Store that shows how each app collects and processes your data. This comes as a similar step to Apple’s Privacy Labels on the Apple App Store that were launched back in 2020.

Google’s new safety section is essentially an overview of what data an app collects and how it processes it. Google is calling it the “Data safety section” and it will require developers of apps to give people more information as to how their apps collect data, share and secure user data. Google has started rolling out the new safety section for all Android users and is expected to reach everyone in the coming days.

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The safety section, as mentioned, will highlight how apps will use your data. More specifically, it will show:

  • Whether the developer is collecting data and for what purpose.
  • Whether the developer is sharing data with third parties.
  • The app’s security practices, like encryption of data in transit and whether users can ask for data to be deleted.
  • Whether a qualifying app has committed to following Google Play’s Families Policy to better protect children in the Play Store.
  • Whether the developer has validated their security practices against a global security standard (more specifically, the MASVS).

“Giving users more visibility into how apps collect, share and secure their data through the Data safety section is just one way we’re keeping the Android users and ecosystem safe,” Google said in a blog post. Google’s policy makes it mandatory for developers to give accurate information in this section, and any misinterpretation of data will be treated as a violation of Google Play policy, meaning that an app may be taken down from the Google Play Store if it doesn’t properly or accurately disclose the data it is collecting and how it will use it. Google’s own apps are also not exempt from this policy.

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The safety section will also show users what data sharing is mandatory and what is optional. App developers need to fill out a Data Safety form by going in to the app content section in the Google Play Console. Google says even apps that don’t collect any user data must submit the form.

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