Google says it will restore the app permissions section on the Play Store

Jul 22, 2022
Google Android

Earlier this week, Google made a rather unusual decision to stop displaying app permissions on the Play Store. The move took users by surprise, and caused quite the confusion.

Google says it will restore the app permissions section on the Play Store
When a friend of mine sent me a link to an icon pack app, I spent a few minutes trying to find out the permissions that it required, before giving up on the quest. Google changes its app store's design frequently, so I thought this was probably some glitch, or perhaps the option had been moved to a different location on the page. It was only after reading Martin's article, that I came to know that it wasn't a bug.

TechCrunch reports that it received confirmation from the search giant that it had indeed removed the section on purpose. However, why it did so remains a mystery.

Here's where things get more interesting. Just 4 days after removing it, Google has confirmed via a message posted on Twitter, that it will restore the app permissions section on the Play Store. The Mountain View company says that the decision to reinstate it comes after receiving feedback from users. That's good news, but it has not mentioned when the change would be made.

I think that Google wanted to replace the Android app permissions section with the Data Safety part that is available on listings on the Play Store. Though they may appear to serve a similar purpose, the information that the two sections are quite different.

App Permissions tell you how data is collected by an app, for example by accessing your call logs, location, camera, etc. The Data Safety section on the other hand sort of explains the types of data that an app collects from your device, it also gives you an idea about how the developer will use the data, i.e., whether it shares the information with third-parties. So, you could say that app permissions is the more important feature of the two, as it gives you more control over the data collection. You could just deny specific permissions to an app to play it safe, and use the Privacy Dashboard in Android 12 to manage your settings.

That's why it is, in my opinion, App Permissions are the most important information on the Play Store. It could prove to be the deciding factor, whether a user installs an app or not. This could hurt developers more than it does Google.

Data Safety isn't new per se, Google introduced it in April this year. It is quite similar to Apple's App Privacy section that is available on its iOS App Store.

The company's announcement about Data Safety mentions that developers are required to complete this section for their apps by July 20th. The deadline ended a couple of days ago, which means the rule is now in effect. But if you search for apps on the Play store and read their Data Safety section, you may be surprised to find that not many developers are following the rule. A notable example is the Amazon app, its Data Safety section just says, "No information available." It is unclear whether Google has given developers a grace period, but hopefully we may see more details popping up soon.


Do you check an app's required permissions before installing it?

Google says it will restore the app permissions section on the Play Store
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Google says it will restore the app permissions section on the Play Store
App Permissions are coming back to the Google Play Store.
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  1. Mystique said on July 23, 2022 at 9:55 am

    Your problem is not with the rating and reviews system it is with the users that use it. There have been several times where I have found useful information within the ratings and reviews what is the problem is that on windows there is no way to sort the reviews and ratings from what I can see.
    This move may be portrayed as some sort of error but what is evident is that google is siding with developers and attempting to subvert the rights of its users to make more educated decisions.

    Do we really trust google at all? If we do then we really haven’t been paying attention all these years.

    There are better alternatives to google play app or their services anyway so they can go kick rocks as far as I am concerned.

  2. Gorzo said on July 22, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    They should get rid of the user reviews and ratings altogether, that’s a real s*itshow of a hot mess fueled by completely clueless users. I know baboons that only install apps that have high ratings, they don’t even know what permissions mean or if the apps have ads or in app purchases etc etc..just blindly stare at the rating and install, because 70 million teenage girls installed it and gave it excellent ratings. And its like some virtual lipstick app with all the permissions and a megaload of ads and charges you monthly.
    People are idiots.

    1. Ben said on July 24, 2022 at 11:53 pm


  3. Anonymous said on July 22, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    wow…google listening to user…speechless, unexpected, unbelievable, albeit just small matter. if only mozilla could copy this stuff.

    still doesnt trust google as a whole though.

    1. Anonymous said on July 22, 2022 at 10:31 pm

      I wish the Chats team would listen to feedback. Chats is a terrible Hangouts replacement because it doesn’t have the same features.

    2. Frankel said on July 22, 2022 at 10:28 pm

      They’ll retry at a better time. Apparently people were still paying attention in summer. Gotta wait until superbowl or a soccer world championship so the drones are zoned out and docile.

      1. Not bill said on July 23, 2022 at 10:02 am

        Firefox switched to googldes engine and it was called quantum. I read the planned switch in firefoxes company blog. Once microsux announced they were switching to the chrome engine firefox removed all entries about quantum being chrome. All you have to do is read the code and its obvious firefox is chrome. They are all crooks data harvesting any thing they can scrape up and gate keeping with evil intent

    3. Yash said on July 22, 2022 at 4:16 pm

      Yep one change which was trash got reversed and Google is better than Mozilla. Of course your comment was a bait. Have to hand it to you something between your ears isn’t functioning well if you’re resorting to these tactics.

      1. Anonymous said on July 22, 2022 at 6:54 pm

        the point is not “Yep one change which was trash got reversed and Google is better than Mozilla”. the point is if the famously untrusted google can listen to its user feedback why cant mozilla do same despite it keep copying every chrome dumb shit.

      2. Anonymous said on July 22, 2022 at 6:39 pm

        obviously better duh…and what tactics? much assumption eh. i just dissapointed in mozilla lol.

        deal with it fanboi… no one need to like either google or mozilla…even if chrome win the browser monopoly, atleast i know it was because mozilla shot itself in da foot.

        vivaldi, librewolf for now. i dont use brave coz i dont like crypto stuff. tbh i detest the crypto stuff, especially after it affect hardware price making it go skyrocketed.

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