Privacy, Data Security

Privacy reporting deviations prevalent in Google Play Store apps

Mozilla researchers reported that almost 80% of Google Play Store apps have not been accurately reporting user data management as shown by the significant disparities between the apps' data privacy policies and Google's forms seeking data collection information, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. Such discrepancies were more glaring among paid apps, with Minecraft, Human Sniper, and Geometry Dash, being among the worst offenders, according to the report. Minecraft was noted by researchers to have left out the collection and usage of users' purchase history data, as well as data sharing with Microsoft, from the Google form. On the other hand, Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, and Twitter were the free apps with the lowest scores, while Google's proprietary apps, such as Google Maps, YouTube, and Gmail also had discrepancies. "Google isnt doing enough to ensure the information provided in their Data Safety Form is accurate and informative for consumers. The result is that consumers who want to protect their privacy and trust the information on Googles Data Safety Form are being misled, leading them to believe these apps are doing a better job protecting their privacy than they are," said researchers. However, Google has panned the study for its "flawed methodology."

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