Tags: GMAIL / mobile apps
Published February 24, 2023
Author: Ash Khan

Mozilla discovered that 80% of Google Play Store app privacy labels were deceptive.

Mozilla claims in research the most popular mobile apps aren’t as private as they want users to believe.

 

The business created one of the most secure browsers available. It discovered that around 80% of Google Play Store apps’ privacy labels were deceptive or fraudulent.

Although Google labels suggest otherwise, Twitter and TikTok are notorious for sharing a wide variety of user data.

“Google must improve”

Mozilla evaluated the privacy policies and Google labels of the top 40 Google Play apps. It included the best mobile apps and the top 20 premium servicesEach app was given a grade of “Bad,” “Needs Improvement,” or “Good” based on the disparities between their policies and the information shown on nutrition labels.

What they discovered was rather disturbing. Just six of the forty applications tested received a favorable rating. These apps also included social media business marketing platforms like Facebook, Minecraft, and Twitter, they were rated “Bad.” Moreover, in the middle, there are YouTube, Google Maps, Google workspace’s Gmail, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Three applications have no record of privacy labels at all.

Analysts attribute such outcomes to severe flaws in Google’s Data Safety Form(opens in new tab). Hence, make it simple for developers to supply inaccurate or incorrect information.

Users must be informed of the data retention and sharing practices of online services to have control over their privacy. Google Play followed Apple’s lead and added similar labels to help users learn how much data their Android apps collect.

According to cybersecurity website researchers, Google privacy labels consistently fail to assist users in making better-informed selections. As most of them are installing one of its 2.7 million active applications.

The research

Project Lead at Mozilla claims, Consumers are concerned about their privacy and want to make informed selections when downloading apps. Google’s Data Safety labels are designed to assist them in this endeavor. They, unfortunately, do not. Instead, I’m concerned that they will cause more harm than good.

Google seems to relieve itself of the burden of checking the accuracy of the information compiled. Whereas app developers have to self-declare the data they gather and distribute.

Additionally, the company prohibits developers from releasing any information about data sharing with service providers. Furthermore, Consumers are entitled to better. Google must improve.

According to the security service website, those charges were denied by Google. According to Google, Mozilla’s arbitrary rankings are not helpful in accurately evaluating either the safety of the applications or the correctness of the labels, due to their flawed methodology and lack of supporting evidence. Yet, Mozilla’s report is not the first of its kind. Apple’s privacy tags have previously been criticized for providing inaccurate information about how its apps gather and share user data.

Mozilla argues that Google and Apple should provide a universally standardized data privacy scheme for their platforms. The supplier also advises Big Tech companies to take clear steps against applications that self-declare inaccurate information about their privacy rules. This should be done in order to ensure that customers are always presented with correct information.

The deceptive Data Safety labels on the Google Play Store offer customers a false feeling of security. It’s past time for honest data safety labels to assist us to secure our privacy.