Google will prevent applications from knowing what you have installed on your mobile

Google Play will implement a new dynamic as of May 5, which will prevent developers from knowing which apps users have installed on their mobiles. A dynamic that will have some exceptions.

This measure was scheduled for early 2021, but the Google team announced a new date due to the pandemic. We will tell you what this new measure is about and how it affects privacy on your device.

New Google Play measure to protect user privacy

When we install a new app, we usually grant a series of permissions, including the possibility of letting them know what other apps we have on our mobile. Yes, developers can access a list of apps installed in our android device.

A dynamic that will change from May, as mentioned by the Google team in the update of the Developer Program

Google Play restricts the use of sensitive or high-risk permissions, such as the QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission […] Google Play considers the inventory of applications installed on a user’s device to be personal and sensitive information. […] This includes new applications and updates to published applications.

However, this restriction will have its exceptions, albeit only temporarily:

Applications that have a verifiable primary purpose related to financial transactions (for example, banking or digital wallets) can obtain general information about installed applications, only for security reasons.

And this temporary exception will not be the only one that will be implemented when this new policy takes effect. Access to this information will also continue to be allowed to applications such as web browsers, antivirus, and file managers. Of course, Google will ask developers to justify why they need this permission for the correct operation of their application.

Those developers who do not comply with the new guidelines run the risk that Google will remove their applications from the store.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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