Earlier this year, the Google Play Store introduced a new privacy section that relies on developers to disclose the information their apps collect. But as Esper Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman said (via Ars Technica), this could mean that Google will no longer show a list of verified permissions, which it automatically collects from each app, giving developers complete control over what they disclose to users (or Not).
When Google first announced its new privacy section last year, the company made it clear that its system would be based on information provided by developers. on me support page, Google states that developers have until July 20 to fill out a privacy form for their apps, noting that developers "only" need to provide "complete and accurate data" for their apps.
“Google Play reviews apps for all policy requirements; however, we cannot make decisions on behalf of developers about how they handle user data. "You are the only person who has all the information required to fill out the privacy form." Google says it will take "reasonable action" if it finds discrepancies between the information reported by the developers and the app itself.
It should be noted that the Apple App Store has a similar policy for "Nutrition" privacy labels, which also requires developers to submit "self-reported summaries" about their apps' privacy practices. Just like what Google is doing now, Apple trusts developers to provide honest information about the data their apps are collecting, which a report comes out on. Washington Post which often turn out to be "misleading or grossly inaccurate."
While Google says no plans to replace auto-generated app permissions with the privacy section, Google seems to have quietly replaced it. In a Twitter thread, Rahman shows screenshots comparing one app menu to the old "Permissions" section and another to just "Data Security." I noticed the same thing after comparing an archived copy of the Google Play Store to TikTok's 2021 onwards list with a This is Available Now.
With the launch of the privacy section on Google Play, which will be mandatory for all apps within a week, the app permissions list appears to be disappearing on both mobile app and web.
– Mishaal Rahman July 13, 2022
However, it would make more sense for Google to show the app permissions for both And the Privacy section. This allows users to compare both to ensure the permissions reported by the developer match Google's results. The Edge contacted Google to see if the company plans to bring back the app's permissions panel, but they didn't get an immediate response.