Google Advises Developers to Submit Privacy Policies

It has been noticed over the past few weeks that the Android and iOS apps being targeted for their treatment of customer data. The growing criticism about the way apps were handling customer data urged Google to become more practical about app privacy.

The search giant has recently added a field for developers to fill out their privacy policy while submitting an app to the Google Play. Google has made this a recommended addition for developers. According to the search giant, the inclusion of privacy policy is currently a developer tool for the time being, but soon these policies will be made available to customers in the Google Play market, so that they can review the privacy policy before downloading the application.

Prior to this, Apple, Microsoft, HP, Google, Amazon and RIM along with other companies, have already signed an agreement with the California Attorney General to expose app privacy policies before downloading. A violation of the agreement, while voluntary on the part of companies, does have a penalty:

If developers do not comply with their stated privacy policies, they can be prosecuted under California’s Unfair Competition Law and/or False Advertising Law.

It seems that the latest initiative took by the search giant is in fact its effort to fulfill this request. The Cupertino-based Apple currently doesn’t disclose privacy policies of apps to customers before download, except for offering a link to the website of an app developer.

However, Google has moved a step further by urging its Android app developers to fill out a privacy policy regarding app at the time of submitting the app to the Google Play market. We can only speculate that Apple will soon take an initiative to urge developers to enter a privacy policy while submitting an app to App Store.

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