Google limits the apps that can see everything else you have installed

Google will soon be more selective about the apps on the Play Store that can see all the other apps you have installed (via XDA Developers). as such Ars Technica It indicates that the list of installed apps, as innocent as it sounds, could convey to developers personal traits such as dating preferences and political affiliations. So starting May 5th 2021, developers will have to provide a very good reason why Google should allow you to access information like this.

Android 11 apps that are currently requesting “QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES” permission can see the full list of apps that you have stored on your device. But Google recently updated the Developer Program Policy And now this information is considered “Personal and sensitive user dataRestrict which apps are allowed to use.

Once the change takes effect in May, applications can only use the permission if “the primary user function or purpose facing the user requires a broad view of the applications installed on the user’s device”. Examples of applications that will be allowed to continue to use this permission include file managers, browsers, and anti-virus applications that need the data for “awareness or interoperability purposes”. Banking applications, digital wallet applications and any other application that includes “financial transaction functions” will obtain a permit for “security-related purposes”.

Apps that do not have a use case justified may be subject to permission to be removed from the Google Play Store. All developers who want to keep permission in their apps need to complete Announcement form They justify their use of it.

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In case you are concerned that the developers will do this still Abuse of permission, Google documents It clearly states that it will be difficult for the violating apps, whether they are new to the Play Store or just updates to the existing apps. Google can suspend apps and possibly terminate developer accounts.

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