Android Developers Call for Google Play Privacy Safeguards
Developers were shocked to discover they are getting personal information from everyone who purchases an Android app in the Google’s Play store last week, and they are demanding the company change its policies. The scandal broke when Dan Nolan, an Android developer based in Australia, noticed personal details on customers of his Paul Keating Insult Generator app. This included names, e-mail addresses and even the suburbs in which they live. He reacted on his blog with scathing comments about Google.
“With the information I have available to me through the checkout portal I could track down and harass users who left negative reviews or refunded the app purchase,” Nolan writes. “The problems on Android of app permissions (and subsequent potential for malware aside) is one of active negative behaviour on the part of an app developer. This isn’t. This is a massive oversight by Google. Under no circumstances should I be able to get the information of the people who are buying my apps unless they opt into it, and it’s made crystal clear to them that I’m getting this information. This is a massive, massive privacy issue Google. Fix it. Immediately.”