Following in the footsteps of the Apple App Store, google play also allows us to know what data do apps use to track us through the new section ‘Data security’which Google forces all developers to be transparent with the use of our data.
This new section of Play Store lets us know what data is collected by applications and gameswhich of these data can be shared with other companies and how protected our data is, as we will see below:
So you can know what data the apps use to track you
To know what data an application collects, we just have to go to the Play Storesearch for a specific application, enter its file and search for the new section ‘Data security’. When unfolding it we will see a summary of data security practicesallowing us to see more detailed information by tapping on ‘See details’.
We can also access the section of ‘Data security’ from section ‘Info. of the app’We will find access to this section in the ‘App data’ section. That is where until a few weeks ago the Permissions section was located, which has been replaced by the new security section.
Once inside the ‘Data Security Section’ We can understand the data collection, the data that is shared and the security and privacy practices of the applications through the sections ‘Shared data’, ‘Data that is collected’ Y security practices’. The developer explains to others why they need to collect or share that data.
The types of data that can be collected by the applications published in Google Pla and their purposes are the following:
|Category||Type of data||Description|
Your physical location or that of your device in an area greater than or equal to 3 square kilometers, such as the city in which you are located.
|precise location||Your physical location or that of your device in an area less than 3 square kilometers.|
The name by which you identify yourself, such as your first name, last name, or nickname.
|Mail address||Your email address.|
|user id||Identifiers related to an identifiable person. For example, an account ID, account number, or account name.|
Your address, such as your postal address or home address.
|Phone number||Your phone number.|
|race and ethnicity||
Information about your race or ethnicity.
|Political opinions or religious beliefs||
Information about your political or religious beliefs.
Information about your sexual orientation.
Any other personal information, such as date of birth, gender identity, veteran status, etc.
|Financial information||User payment information||
Information about your financial accounts, such as your credit card number.
Information about the purchases or transactions you have made.
Information about your credit. For example, your credit history or your credit rating.
|Other financial information||
Any other financial information, such as your salary or your debts.
|health and fitness||health information||
Information about your health, such as medical history or symptoms.
|Physical activity information||
Information about your physical activity, such as exercise or other physical activity.
Your emails, including the subject, the sender, the recipients and the content.
|SMS or MMS||
Your text messages, including sender, recipients, and content.
|Other messages in applications||
Any other type of message. For example, instant messages or chat content.
|Photos and videos||Photos||Your photos.|
|audio files||Voice or sound recordings||
Your voice, such as a voice message or sound recording.
Your music files.
|other audio files||
Any other audio files that you have created or provided.
|Files and documents||Files and documents||
Your files or documents, or information about them, such as file names.
Information about your calendar, such as events, event notes, and attendees.
Information about your contacts. For example, contact names, message history, or social graph information such as usernames, contact length and frequency, duration of interactions, or call history.
|activity in applications||App Interactions||
Information about how you interact with the application. For example, the number of times you visit a page or the sections you touch.
|App search history||Information about what you have searched for in the application.|
|installed apps||Information about the applications installed on your device.|
|Other User Generated Content||
Any other generated content that does not appear here or in any other section. For example, biographies, notes or open responses.
Any other activities or actions in the app not listed here, such as playing games, content you like, and dialogue options.
|Web navegation||Web browsing history||
Information about the websites you have visited.
|Information and application performance||crash logs||
Application crash data. For example, the number of times the app has crashed on the device or other information directly related to a crash.
Information about the performance of the application on the device. For example, battery life, charging time, latency, frame rate, or any technical diagnostics.
|Other application performance data||
Any other app performance data not listed here.
|Device or other IDs||Device or other IDs||
Identifiers related to a specific device, browser or application. For example, an IMEI number, MAC address, Widevine Device ID, Firebase Install ID, or Advertising Identifier.
In the last section, in ‘safety practices’ we can tell that our data is encrypted in transit, if we can ask the developer to delete our data, or if the app has been independently validated against an international security standard.
There are still apps that don’t show collected data but this will change next month. As of July 20, all developers will be obliged to inform users from this new security section:
- Whether the developer collects data and for what purpose.
- If the developer is sharing data with third parties.
- The app’s security practices, such as encryption of data in transit and whether users can request that data be deleted.
- Whether a qualifying app has agreed to follow the Google Play Families Policy to better protect children on the Play Store.
- Whether the developer has validated its security practices against a global security standard (more specifically, the MASVS).