Android apps that require background location info will soon need Google's permission

Google's latest effort to protect Android users from bad apps.

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Google will soon start reviewing all Play Store apps that request background location information from users.

The policy updates will officially take effect in April and developers will have until May to ask for app feedback. Beginning August 3, all new apps will be subject to Google's approval process, while existing apps will be reviewed starting November 2. Apps that are not approved by Google will be removed.

It's not necessary anyway — Google says it found that many of the apps that requested information on background location didn’t really need it. The company went on to add that the same user experience could be provided with most apps using solely in-app information.

"We want to make it easier for users to choose when to share their location and they shouldn't be asked for a permission that the app doesn't need," reads a Google blog post by Krish Vitaldevara, Google's director of product management trust & safety and Google Play.

This news adds to Google's announcement last week that it managed to decrease requests for call and text data from apps in the Play store by 98 percent. The company's efforts to ensure user safety and privacy protection date back to changes it began making in 2019 to its policy and platform.

Putting privacy first — Cellphone location data requests have long been raising eyebrows, and the past few years have thus proven tumultuous for tech giants, mainly Facebook, concerning issues around user data and privacy. Clearly, Google has taken note and is making attempts to better protect its users. As for the typical smartphone user that might be fretful over privacy, this policy ensures they'll have a better idea of what's going on.