Google generally does a great job with security when it comes to the Google Play Store.
Of course, the company regularly makes headlines when poisoned apps are discovered, but given the sheer number of apps available on the Play Store, the percentage of problematic ones is barely a blip on the radar. That certainly doesn’t give Google a free pass, but it’s an absolute fact that if you download something from the Play Store and do even a little due diligence, you can do so with confidence.
Recently, the company announced some upcoming changes that will make the Play Store even safer and more secure. Chief among them is the fact that beginning in the first quarter of 2022, Google will require app developers to disclose exactly what data an app collects and how it is used. The details include whether or not the collected data is shared, making that information readily available to anyone who considers downloading the app. By itself, that represents a huge change, and one that’s sure to have ripple effects throughout the industry, but Google doesn’t plan to stop there.
In addition to that change, the following additional information will be listed for every app on the Play Store:
- Whether or not the app has any type of built in security, like data encryption
- Whether it follows Google’s Families policy
- Whether the app absolutely needs the data it collects in order to function or if users have choice in sharing it
- Whether the app has a safety section verified by an independent third-party
- And whether or not the app enables users to request data deletion if they decide to uninstall
Taken together, this represents a massive change, and it’s all good news for anyone who downloads anything from the Play Store. Kudos to Google for continuing to put user privacy and security front and center.