Google said Thursday it was backing down on a recent change that removed the list of app permissions from the Google Play Store for Android for both the mobile app and the web.
“Privacy and transparency are core values in the Android community”, the Android Developers team said in a series of tweets. “We heard your feedback that you found the app permissions section in Google Play useful, and we’ve decided to fix it. The app permissions section will be back soon.”
As a result, Google plans not only to present the new Data Security section that provides users with a simplified summary of an app’s data collection, processing, and security practices, but also to highlight all the permissions the app needs to use the “ability to access specific restricted data and actions.”
The recovery comes as the internet giant swapped the consent section for apps last week with the newer data security labels ahead of the July 20, 2022 enforcement deadline, requiring developers to provide information about “how they collect and process user data for the apps they publish on Google Play.” .”
However, a quick check reveals that apps like Tor Browser, Discord, and those from Amazon, including the app of the same name, Kindle, Alexa, Amazon Music, and Amazon Photos, still don’t have a data protection section.
The new system also has its own problems, as it relies entirely on the developers to make “complete and accurate statements”, potentially leading to scenarios where it can be misleading or downright inaccurate.
In contrast, the apps permissions list is derived from the permissions declared by the developer in the apps manifest file.
It’s worth noting that the Apple App Store has a similar policy for its privacy “nutrition” labels that developers Highlight “self-reported summaries of some of their privacy practices”, a method that, as a report of The Washington Post, “not helpful.”
However, Google states in its supporting documentation that it can take appropriate enforcement action if it encounters cases where there is a mismatch between an app’s behavior and its reporting.