When it comes to approval developers are allowed to use, Google is no stranger to Android Law. The firm is cracking down again and now focuses on developers that need a list of installed applications on a user’s smartphone without need.
The update in the Developer Software Policies will take place on May 5, as defined by Google on their Play Console support page. This is because Google Play refers to “the computer inventory of applications built from a device requested by a customer as personal and confidential material.”
From a technological point of view, Google will limit the access of applications on user devices to the QUERJ ALL PACKAGES permit.
This allows developers to navigate a device’s list of apps. It’s needed for apps that are targeted at level 30 of the Android API (Android 11) and want to view the apps loaded.
This should be considered an additional step to improve data privacy controls. This obligatory move, for example, makes it harder for developers to spy on apps on your computer. The access to an Android app inventory can be used for targeted or malicious advertising purposes.
As reported, if the app of a developer does not conform with the appropriate device inventory usage criteria, they have to delete it from the application manifest.
If the application follows the policy criteria of the appropriate use of the app inventory, the high-risk permissions must also be declared on the Play Console using the Declaration Form.
If the applications do not comply with the policy specifications or the developers do not offer a statement form, Google Play will uninstall the program.
In case of modifications to conform with the regulatory changes, the declaration has to be amended and updated with exact details.
It is necessary to remember that the authorization for inventory access takes place only when an application targets Android API Level 30 or higher on Android11 or later devices.
Consequently, the only programs allowed to use this permission are apps requesting access to the list of available apps. This includes applications in the quest, antivirus, file managers, and browser types.
As you can expect, Google’s move to avoid malicious apps access to the list of other apps on your computer is pretty solid. This method, spying the app list and distributing tailored advertisements is even harder for any app.