Play Store Privacy
How private do you think your Android phone is? Well, Mozilla has probably just ruined or confirmed your perspective on your device’s privacy. Mozilla, who is behind the Firefox browser which prides itself on its privacy and security, has conducted a study and found that around 80% of Google Play Stores‘ top apps have misleading or false privacy labels.
Mozilla’s Privacy Study
In the study conducted by Mozilla titled: ‘How Loopholes in the Google Play Store’s Data Safety Labels Leave Companies in the Clear and Consumers in the Dark,‘ Mozilla compared the privacy policies and privacy labels of 20 of the most popular paid apps and 20 of the most popular free apps on the Google Play store and found the following.
- In nearly 80% of the apps reviewed, Mozilla found some discrepancies between the apps’ privacy policies and the information they reported on Google’s Data Safety Form.
- 16 out of 40 apps, or 40%, received a “Poor” grade, including Minecraft, Twitter, and Facebook.
- 15 apps, or 37.5%, received a middle grade, “Needs Improvement,” including YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, WhatsApp Messenger, and Instagram.
- Just 6 of the 40 apps, or 15%, received an “OK” grade. These apps were: Candy Crush Saga, Google Play Games, Subway Surfers, Stickman Legends Offline Games, Power Amp Full Version Unlocker, and League of Stickman: 2020 Ninja.
- 3 apps, UC Browser – Safe, Fast, Private; League of Stickman Acti; and Terraria did not fill out the form at all
This Needs to Change
All this is very concerning though I assume most of us know how much money is made from selling data so it is no surprise that this is the case, that doesn’t mean we should just sit back and accept it though and google needs to do more to protect our privacy as consumers.
Jen Caltrider, Project Lead at Mozilla had this to say:
“Google Play Store’s misleading Data Safety labels give users a false sense of security. Honest nutrition labels help us eat better. It’s time we have honest data safety labels to help us better protect our privacy.“
Will this study make you reconsider some of the apps you use on your android device? Let us know in the comments.