Google ditches the ‘App Permissions’ list from its Play Store

Posted on July 18, 2022 by

Google has sped up the rollout of the ‘Data Safety’ feature for Android apps on the Play Store. While announced in April, the feature appears to have completely replaced the ‘App Permissions’ list.

The permissions list provided users with information on what app developers can do with their devices. The information was particularly useful for researchers looking into whether Android users don’t consent to dangerous permissions.

The list was curated by Google, which at least, in theory, meant that if developers did not provide crucial information, a scan by Play Store admins would make the permissions appear on the list.

Meanwhile, the information on data collection and processing practices in the new ‘Data Safety’ section comes from app developers. The displayed data is less technical yet easier to understand for Android users.

The change was first highlighted by Esper’s Mishaal Rahman. According to him, while the change can provide users some clarity, the self-reported nature of the ‘Data Safety’ might add to the confusion on the Play Store on what kind of user data apps collect.

“The con is that the info in the Data Safety section is given by the developer, so what’s shown there is up to them,” Rahman noted on Twitter.

Original Posts: Google ditches the ‘App Permissions’ list from its Play Store