Google is seemingly removing the “Permissions” list from the Play Store. First spotted by Mishaal Rahman of esper.io, both the mobile app and the web version of the store no longer lists the permissions an app may require to function properly.
As Rahman speculates, this change could be part of Google introducing a new Data Safety section in the Play Store. It provides a summary of how apps collect and use your data. You’ll get information on what data is being collected, for what purpose, and how securely it is stored (encryption and other security measures in place). Data Safety will also tell you whether the developer shares the info with third parties. Apps for kids also need to provide related information on measures in place to protect children on their platform.
Google’s idea with Data Safety is to bring transparency to users regarding their data. The company is making it mandatory for all Play Store apps later this month. Ahead of that, it is removing the Permissions list. Data Safety does serve as a replacement to some extent. For example, if an app says it collects your location info, this means it will require location permission. You even get to see an explanation for the required permissions and whether certain permission is mandatory for the app’s functioning or it’s optional.
However, since any information provided in Data Safety is supplied by the developer, it may not tell everything a user needs to know about the purpose of data collection. On top of that, the section does not list every permission an app may ask for. So removing the Permissions list prevents users from seeing them all before installing the app. It certainly doesn’t feel like an upgrade.
Google removes more key app information from the Play Store
If you’re not happy about Google removing the “Permissions” list from the Play Store, let us tell you that the company is taking away more key app information from the store. It recently stopped showing when an app was last updated to some users. This change has yet to roll out widely, but the Permissions list is already missing for most users.
However, if seeing permissions before installing an app is essential for you, Aurora Store still lists them. It is a FOSS (free and open-source software) Google Play client. If you’re a little tech-savvy, inspecting an app’s manifest will also tell you about the permissions it will require.