Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Google adds more browsing security to your Android device

Google adds more browsing security to your Android device

According to the new policy, any apps handling users' personal information like email addresses or phone numbers, or device data will have to prompt users before doing so. Google Safe Browsing will now show warnings on apps - and even on websites leading to app installations - for apps that collect a user's personal data without consent.

These requirements will apply during all instances when the app has to collect personal or device data from the user. The alerts will pop up on app store and webpages that lead to the offending apps. Notably, these new guidelines will prevent apps from collecting user data which is not necessary.

These requirements apply to all app functions, and Google oogle says that during analytics and crash reports any list of installed packages that are unrelated to the app can't be transmitted from the device.

The changes reflect an update in August to the Personal and Sensitive Information section of Google's Developer Policy Center.

New and existing applications will have 60 days to conform to these new rules, or developers risk their app displaying the new message asking for consent. If a developer includes surreptitious data harvesting in an Android app, Safe Browsing will be able to detect it and warn the user.

For example, the in-app disclosure must be shown within the app itself and not just the Play Store listing or on a website. To gain consent, the user will need to tap to accept or tick a check-box. Interestingly, it does not matter whether apps are featured in Google Play or they come via other marketplaces. This gives Android developers about two months to update their apps and make them compliant with the new rule. This will help to crack down on malicious apps, including those from third-party sources that would previously go unnoticed by the Safe Browsing service.

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