RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Google says it now wants to make it easier for you to know what an app is doing with your private data, so it’s launching what’s being called privacy “nutrition labels” joining companies like Apple in this privacy transparency effort.
When you choose something to eat, you can find out more about it by using the nutrition labels. They tell us lots about the food you want to consume.
Now, both Google and Apple are doing much the same thing with apps in their stores – to let you know how they deal with your privacy.
For many, trying to figure out what apps are doing with our data is too time-consuming.
Raleigh resident Heather Spencer said she doesn’t check app privacy settings often.
“I guess I don’t have the time,” she said.
Liz Mordecai is in the same boat.
“Who has the time or understanding,” she said.
Tech giant Google wants to make it easier to understand, creating so-called “privacy nutrition labels” in its Google Play app store so you can see exactly what information the app is taking from you.
Cyber security expert Craig Petronella said “basically, it’s enhanced privacy settings for consumers.”
Apple led the way a while back, mandating apps in its store show how they use your data.
Now, Google has joined in with its Play Store mandate.
Petronella said it’s causing friction with vendors.
“It’s actually putting a damper on efforts with certain vendors, making it more difficult to do business,” he said. “Certain apps, I’ve heard, no longer work properly.”
Google said the changes will not only show what data is being collected and for what purpose, but also if it’s being shared with third parties.
Another thing you’ll be able to see is whether the app follows Google policies to protect children and whether the app validated its security practices against a global standard.
“There’s been a lot of reports around malicious apps being submitted to the app store making it more difficult to police the store,” said Petronella.
When Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia showed the actual privacy labels on the Google Play Store website to Liz Mordecai she was impressed.
“I’m glad they are doing it that way,” she said. “The more transparency the better, it’s making it easier to understand.”
Google has given developers until July 20 to make sure their apps comply with its new privacy mandates.