In an ongoing attempt to improve its privacy and security policy, Google is also restricting the use of wide data access to see if all applications are installed. Beginning May 5, Google will only allow applications that follow those criteria to see which other apps are installed on a smartphone.
Only select applications will be allowed to use the “QUERY ALL PACKAGES” access, a.k.a. wide app visibility, according to Google’s announcement of future updates to the Developer Program Policy. Those apps must target an API level 30 (Android 11) or higher, and their proper activity must be determined by other apps’ knowledge. Developers can avoid using the “QUERY ALL PACKAGES” authorisation if an app will run with a more “targeted scoped package visibility declaration.”
File managers, browsers, antivirus, and a few other applications that need wide app visibility to run properly would be permitted to use it, but only if the developer completes the Declaration Form in the Play Console.
Google is granting all Android apps a 30-day grace period to adjust to the latest rules. If developers do not comply, their app will be deleted by May 5.
The inventory of installed applications on a smartphone is called personal and sensitive details under Google’s Personal and Sensitive Information policies. This means that, according to Google’s policies, this information cannot be marketed or exchanged for the purposes of analytics or ad monetization.
The new Google rules are a positive step towards a more private and safer mobile world. It can also assist Android devices in reducing the amount of data they send to Google servers.
Image credit: Adrien
116 Interactions, 8 today