Google's new guidelines will prevent apps from collecting unnecessary user data

Google's new announcements at 'Google for India'

Under a new "Unwanted Software Policy" announced late last week, Google will now show warnings when apps acquired in this manner tamper with personal data. Further, if the apps save information that is not necessary they are needed to explain users how the data is going to be used.

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. Nonetheless, many users regularly use external app stores and direct download sites to acquire new apps, potentially putting their device at risk. The regulations will come into place in the next "60 days" - let's say, February 1- and a Safe Browsing/ Google Play Protect warning will be shown on all pages leading to the non-compliant apps.

Developers will also need to offer a way for users to give their "affirmative consent" if an app collects and transmits personal data that's unrelated to the functionality of the app.

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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. For instance, if an application requires sending analytics, it can't transmit information unrelated to the app unless it discloses the reason and gets permission from the user.

Google describes unwanted software as any application or tool that is deceptive or tries to trick users into installing it by promising a false value proposition. To gain consent, the user will need to tap to accept or tick a check-box. Notably, these new guidelines will prevent apps from collecting user data which is not necessary. Failure to comply will result in a Safe Browsing warning from Google. The apps will be considered to violate Google's policy if they don't follow the rules for prominent disclosure.

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