Protecting and disposing of personal data in total transparency should be a moral duty for those who develop and manage websites and apps. Unfortunately, we know that often this is not the case.
For this reason, Google announces a restriction on websites and apps that collect sensitive data, such as phone numbers and email addresses, without informing the user.
Starting from 30th January 2018 the visitor of a site or the user of an app must be informed and must be asked to consent to the processing of their data; the app cannot be installed, on Android devices, in case of negation by the user. Data collection must also be declared for purposes not strictly related to the service offered, such as statistics and reports of malfunctions.
If a website or app does not meet these requirements, it will be reported, meaning that the user will see a security warning on the web page or on the mobile device via Google Play Protect.
A response to a recent class action against Google
In the United Kingdom, a class action was taken against the Mountain View company, accused of having collected personal data illegally. Google You Owe Us, a group led by Richard Lloyd, claims that Google has stolen information by circumventing the default privacy settings on the iPhone, via the Safari browser, between June 2011 and February 2012.
If successful, 5.4 million users in possession of an iPhone in that period would be entitled to compensation. A spokesman for Google rejected the allegations stating that the company has already faced similar cases.
Having said this, it seems that the restriction is a response to this initiative, a way to prevent such situations in the future.
The guarantee of personal data, as you can well understand, is fundamental for two interconnected reasons:
- privacy ;
It is always a golden rule: the first guarantors of our online security are ourselves and we must protect ourselves, first of all, taking responsible and careful behaviour when we surf the internet or use apps.