Google's new data-tracking app could save money on your mobile bill

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Apps that handle personal user data such as phone numbers and email addresses, or data about the device (such as IMEI number), must prompt users for permission to collect the information.

The Google Safe Browsing team is putting this requirement up on Google Play, and even on non-Google Play markets. They will also have to expressly ask for consent to share the data; while also highlight how the information will be used. If an app continues to stray from the policy, users are likely to see its Safe Browsing full-page warnings, which will probably drive users away from the offending software.

Announcing the launch of Datally in Lagos recently, Google Nigeria Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, said the new app, which was specifically designed for data users in emerging markets like Nigeria, would help Android users understand and control their mobile data to get the most out of their data plans. Datally's Data Saver feature lets users control data on an app-by-app basis, so that data only goes to apps they care about. This will reveal the data being consumed by the app that is being run at the moment. This will apply at all times; for instance, the list of installed apps on your device can not be sent from your device during a crash report without consent. Developers should refer to the Unwanted Software Help Center. The amended policy introduced a requirement for an app to provide prominent disclosure if it collects and transmits personal user data unrelated to the app's main functionality described in the Play Store listing.

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It must also be displayed within the normal usage of the app and not be buried in settings. To gain consent, the user will need to tap to accept or tick a check-box.

If developers don't comply within 60 days, Google said, it will warn users via Google Play Protect "or on webpages that lead to these apps".

It should be noted that Google is not outright banning apps that don't ask for permission. This gives Android developers about two months to update their apps and make them compliant with the new rule.

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