Google Play introduced the developer-generated Data safety section earlier this year. Back then, Google Play had removed the old list of app permissions. As a response to user feedback, Google Play Store has decided to reverse this decision. Both will now coexist.
In a short Twitter thread, Android Developers stated that they “heard your feedback that you find the app permissions section in Google Play useful, and we’ve decided to reinstate it,” adding that it will be “back shortly.” Whether or not this gets done through a server-side change or if a new version of the Play Store app is needed, remains unspecified by the company.
The Data safety section provides users with a simplified view of how an app collects, shares, & secures user data, but we also want to make app permissions information easily viewable for users to understand an app’s ability to access specific restricted data & actions too.
Google aptly summarized that the Play permissions list is “based on the install-time permissions that an app declares in its manifest,” and “represents an app’s ability to access specific data.” Much like App Store by Apple does, Data safety focuses on what an app collects and shares with third parties.
While Google still fully backs the new approach by Google Play, it also understands why users might prefer the previous, more factual model that lets them see the full list of permissions required to use an app before downloading it.
As of 20th July, Google has been directly warning “non-compliant new app submissions and app updates” that have not yet filled out the Data safety form completely. Developers have until 22nd August to comply to them, or else they will not be able to publish new apps or updates. After the deadline, applications may be removed from the Play Store with non compliance.
We will continue to take in feedback and work closely with the developer community to prioritize data privacy and transparency for users.