When you download an Android app, Google gives your personal data to developers
According to a Feb. 15 report in The Times of India, an Australian developer says that Google gives him personal information about the users who download his apps. This info includes email addresses, full names and postal (or zip) codes.
This is not a glitch in Google's app store software, but rather Google's app store policy, which it states in its Privacy Notice. Privacy advocates believe that Google has not publicized the policy enough for consumers to fully understand that their personal data is being shared with developers.
This is the latest privacy issue for Google, which just agreed to pay $22 million to settle charges that it bypassed the privacy settings on Apple's Safari browser. Google isn't the only web company to run into privacy issues with regulars, Facebook has too.
Developer Dan Nolan, who develops both Google and Apple apps, says that Google gives your privacy info to developers because of the way that the Google app store is set up. He says that the Google app store (called Google Play) is a marketplace where you purchase apps directly from developers through Google. This means that Google must provide the developers with your data to complete the transaction.
This is different from the way that Apple's App Store is set-up. When you go to Apple's App Store, you purchase the app from Apple and give your personal info to Apple only, not the developer. Apple then gives the developer the money, not the personal data.
Google says that it only shares the info needed to process transactions. Google app developers say that getting the personal info of users helps them better serve their customers and makes it possible to issue refunds.
What do you think about developers getting your personal data?