Google said today it's reinstating the app permissions list on the Play Store after initially removing them in place of Data Safety labels that rolled out earlier this month. However, the company didn't specify when the permission section will be back on the Play Store.
Google launched the Data Safety labels on Play Store in April after announcing them last year. Apple, on the other hand, launched its own data privacy labels in 2020 showing what data an app can collect from you.
Privacy and transparency are core values in the Android community. We heard your feedback that you find the app permissions section in Google Play useful, and we've decided to reinstate it. The app permissions section will be back shortly.
— Android Developers (@AndroidDev) July 21, 2022
As Google was rolling out the Data Safety label across apps over the last few months, several blogs and researchers noted that Google also removed the permissions section, allowing you to see what kind of data access an app has on your phone, from the Play Store.
Earlier in the month, Google confirmed to TechCrunch it removed the permissions section from the Play Store on July 13, but did not say for what reason it had been removed. Google said it's being reinstated based on the feed from the Android community, but didn't elaborate on why it was removed in the first place.
You could still go to the apps menu on your phone and check out permissions for the individual app, but it's not just reflected on the install page on Google's app store. But the new change will let you see both Data Safety labels and app permissions directly from the Play Store.
That means you can easily understand what data an app has access to through the permissions section and why it needs permission to access this data through the Data Safety section.
Notably, Google's rule that makes it mandatory for developers to declare the Data Safety section for their apps has gone into effect from July 20. The company noted that apps that don't comply with this rule will be "subject to policy enforcement" — meaning their updates could be blocked.
This is Google's second major Play Store announcement in the week after it allowed non-game app developers to use alternative payment systems for users in the European Economic Area (EEA) — which includes 27 EU countries, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.