Android M Update Means More Transparency, More Privacy for Users

Looks like the Android platform, considered by many to favor app developers over consumers, will experience some changes with the new “M update.” For starters, the marketing and data collection process should change quite a bit. “In the past, developers were able to collect a large amount of data from each person who chose to …   Read More

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Android M Update Means More Transparency, More Privacy for UsersLooks like the Android platform, considered by many to favor app developers over consumers, will experience some changes with the new “M update.”

For starters, the marketing and data collection process should change quite a bit.

“In the past, developers were able to collect a large amount of data from each person who chose to download their app,” reports Digital Journal. “This was used in a wide variety of ways, and it was difficult for consumers to opt out of sharing certain personal details.”

Now the formula will be turned on its head.

“One of the biggest changes that consumers can expect is the ability to filter out apps based on the type of data that they require,” explains DJ’s Holly Walters. “In other words, if you do not want an app to immediately gain access to your contact list, you will be able to refuse those that have this requirement. This more refined level of user permissions is virtually certain to make most consumers more comfortable with the idea of owning an Android device.”

According to the report, yet another change is that users will be able to individually select the type of data that they are willing to share with each app before they download them.

“This is similar to the Facebook setup that allows people to edit the data they want to share before accepting the terms for each app,” according to Walters. “Before the M update, sharing data was all or nothing, and users had to make a choice between not downloading an app and providing every requested piece of information.”

One thing’s for certain: developers will have to adopt a more transparent approach with users.

“For example, developers are being encouraged to list the data they want to collect on each app’s download page, along with their reasoning for requesting this information,” Walters notes. “This will make it easier for consumers to determine if they believe it is necessary and acceptable to exchange personal data for access to a new app.”

Walters notes that this customer-friendly privacy feature has been long enjoyed by iOS users, but not Android owners.

“Now the question that is inevitably on the mind of every Apple and Android executive is whether or not the M update will tip the scales back in Android’s favor,” Walters muses.

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