Last May, Google announced that each app in the Play Store is getting a “Data safety” section. It serves a dual-purpose for developers and end users alike, but Google Play is now delaying the launch until later this year.

This upcoming section lets developers communicate what user data apps collect, share, and how it’s used (e.g. personalization, analytics, advertising), including: approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (name, email, etc.), payment info, photos/videos, audio files, and storage files.

The Data safety section on Google Play is a simple way for you to help people understand what user data your app collects or shares, as well as showcase your app’s key privacy and security practices. This information helps users make more informed choices when deciding which apps to install.

Devs can also specify what security practices (data encryption) are in place, and whether users can decline or request to delete it later. This includes data collected by 3rd-party libraries or SDKs used in apps. Apple made a similar push in recent years, but Google notes that it asks for “additional and different information that you may not have used previously.”

In October, Google started letting developers fill out this information in the Play Console. The company was originally planning to have the Data safety section go live in the Play Store this month. By April, all were originally required to submit and have that information approved.

The company today delayed when the Data safety section will start to appear in Google Play to “late April.” Meanwhile, developers now have until July 20 to “declare how they collect and handle user data for the apps they publish” for new app submissions and updates, or risk the ability to publish. At that point, applications will be rejected from the Play Store “if there are unresolved issues.”

After July 20, 2022: Non-compliant apps may face additional enforcement actions in the future, such as the removal of your app’s store listing from Google Play.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com