Google will borrow Apple's privacy labels for the Play Store next year

Google Play Store
Google Play Store (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Google is set to force developers to explain what data they are collecting and outline details in the Play Store.
  • This follows Apple's move to do something very similar earlier this year.

Following Apple's App Store privacy label move earlier this year, Google has announced that it will also force developers to disclose the kinds of data they will collect. That disclosure will be made via a new section in the Play Store – but it won't kick in until next year.

Google says that it wants users to be able to understand the types of data that apps collect or share, with an upcoming "security section" within the Google Play store set to house that information.

We work closely with developers to keep Google Play a safe, trusted space for billions of people to enjoy the latest Android apps. Today, we're pre-announcing an upcoming safety section in Google Play that will help people understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security.

This all sounds eerily similar to the privacy nutrition labels that Apple's App Store added earlier this year, but as TechCrunch points out, there are some notable differences in approach.

While clearly inspired by Apple's privacy labels, there are several key differences. Apple's labels focus on what data is being collected for tracking purposes and what's linked to the end user. Google's additions seem to be more about whether or not you can trust the data being collected is being handled responsibility (sic), by allowing the developer to showcase if they follow best practices around data security, for instance.

Google says that Android fans can expect the new privacy focus to kick in around Q2 of 2022, so developers have plenty of time to get their ducks in a row.

Android users might be better served by picking up best iPhone available right now rather than waiting until next year, though. The App Store has you covered already, friends!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.