Google removes “App permissions” list from Play Store for new “Data Security” section


After launching a new “Data Security” section for the Android app in the Play Store, Google seems poised to remove the list of app permissions from both the mobile app and the web.

The change was: marked by Esper’s Mishaal Rahman earlier this week.

The Data Security section, which Google began rolling out in late April 2022, is the company’s response to Apple’s Privacy Nutrition Labels in iOS, giving users a unified view of an app’s data collection and processing.

To that end, third-party app developers are required to provide the required details by July 20, 2022. With this deadline approaching next week, the tech giant has moved to completely remove the permissions section.

The decision also appears to have been rushed as a number of popular apps such as Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Amazon (including Amazon Prime Video), DuckDuckGo, Discord, and PhonePe have yet to fill their data security sections.

It’s not immediately clear what prompted Google to make the change, especially given that the Data Security section runs on a honor system that requires the developers to make full and accurate statements in their app’s store listing.

The list of app permissions, on the other hand, was compiled by Google based on a scan of the app during the vetting process, giving users a convenient way to check all rights required by each app prior to installation.

The readability improvements offered by the Data Security section are suspected to have played a role in the change, although it remains to be seen how reliable the new system is.