Google has removed apps from Google Play that request permission to access call logs and SMS text message data, but has not been manually wasted by Google staff.
The search and mobile giant said it was part of a move to cut down on apps that have access to sensitive business and texting data.
Google said in October that Android apps will no longer be allowed to use legacy permissions as part of a more push for developers to use newer, more secure and privacy-minded apps. Many apps request access to call logs and texting data to verify two-factor authentication codes, for social sharing, or to replace the phone dialer. But Google has determined that this access point is abused by developers who misused the permissions to collect sensitive data – or misdirected it altogether.
"Our new policy is designed to ensure that apps that ask for the permissions need full and ongoing access to the sensitive data in order to get the first use of the app, and for users to understand what the data would be required for the app to function. , "Wrote Paul Bankhead, Google's director of product management for Google Play.
Any developer who wants to retain the ability to ask a user's license for calling and texting data has to fill in a permissions declaration.
Google will appreciate the app and what it needs to access, and will consider some considerations, including what the developer requires access, the user benefit from the features that require access, and the risk associated with the access to call and texting data.
Banked candidate that under the new policy, some utility cases will "no longer be allowed," rendering several apps obsolete.
So far, tens of thousands of developers have submitted new versions of their applications, or have removed the need to access call and texting permissions, Google said, or have issued a license.
Developers with a submitted declaration have until 9 March to get approval or remove the permissions. In the meantime, Google has a full list of permitted use cases for call log and text message permissions, and alternatives.
The last two years alone have seen some high profile cases of Android apps or other services licking or exposing the call and text data. In late 2017, popular Android keyboard AiType exposed a massive database of 31 million users, including 374 million phone numbers.