Developers have been given 60 days to comply with what is described as an expansion of Google's existing Unwanted Software Policy. Safe Browsing alerts will display for all apps and websites that appear to collect the user's information without first acquiring explicit consent.
Striving towards better user privacy, Google's Safe Browsing team on Friday announced new and improved regulations for Android apps that are both on and off the Google Play Store.More news: US, allies push for United Nations meeting on North Korea rights abuses
From February next year, Android apps that handle personal data such as phone numbers and email addresses, as well as device data, will be required to prompt users for permission to collect the information. App developers caught by the new Safe Browsing warnings can request an app review on the App Verifications and Appeals support page. And if the data collected by this app doesn't relate to its functionality, the app will have to explain how this data will be used, after which the user can provide his/her consent.
In order to avoid Google's ban hammer, Android app developers must follow a series of rules regarding user data collection and disclosure. For instance, if an application requires sending analytics, it can't transmit information unrelated to the app unless it discloses the reason and gets permission from the user. Interestingly, it does not matter whether apps are featured in Google Play or they come via other marketplaces. If the requirements listed are not met, warnings may be shown on user devices through Google Play Protect or on webpages that lead to these apps.
Websites owners that attract a Safe Browsing warning will need to follow the usual processes in the Search Console if they want to resolve the warnings.