Google is going to make it difficult for Android app developers to access the information of users. Now here’s one thing you need to know if you use an Android device; all apps that you install on your Android device do one thing without you knowing or realizing later on. Android apps have the ability to collect your information and link it to your User ID. Such information includes your phone number, location, address, etc. Although the reason why Android apps do this is so that developers can track the personal choices of users and show ads that fit into the choices of users. Now here is where the danger of having such information comes in; the information collected by these Android apps can be used to make clairvoyant analysis of user choice and patterns of interest based on the kind of apps users have on their phones. Information like a user’s political affiliation, interests and choices can be known based on the information collected by Android apps.
Some apps like File manager, Anti-Virus and what have you; need to have access to users’ phones to be able to function. Some other apps such as torchlight and camera do not require such permissions. Many Android apps that do not require access into users’ phone breach this and many Android users are not even aware of this. This has been the order of the day and nothing has really been said about it until now that Google is deciding to stop it.
How will Google go about this? Well, starting from May 5 this year, Android app developers will have to give good reason why they should be given access on users’ phones. According to Google, “The inventory of installed apps queried from a device is regarded as personal and sensitive user data subject to the Personal and Sensitive Information policy”. Google also stated clearly that apps that will be included in the list of those that will be given access are those that have “core user facing functionality or purpose, requires broad visibility into installed apps on the user’s device”.
Google is all about protecting users and this is another great step in doing so.