There’s a lot of noise about Google Play and what one developer, Dan Nolan, called a “privacy problem” – it’s not that at all. But before this blogger explains why it’s not an issue, at least for Google, let’s look at the developer’s claim.
If you bought the app on Google Play (even if you cancelled the order) I have your email address, your suburb, and in many instances your full name. Each Google Play order is treated as a Google wallet transaction and as such software developers get all of the information (sans exact address) for an order of an app that they would get from the order of something physical. Even underneath the order information there is a flag that says ‘Email Marketing’ with a value next to it, because of course scrupulous developers would always obey that flag.
But Dan’s blog presents the issue as if it’s not mentioned in the Google Play Terms of Service, or “TOS.”
But it is…
All one has to do is go to Google Play, and then scroll way down to the bottom of the page, and find “Device Terms Of Service,” where the words read in black and white, this:
You agree that in order to process your order and to protect you and Google from fraudulent transactions, Google may provide your order information to reputable third parties to perform address verifications and make deliveries.
Information we collect
We collect information to provide better services to all of our users – from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like which ads you’ll find most useful or the people who matter most to you online.
We collect information in two ways:
Information you give us. For example, many of our services require you to sign up for a Google Account. When you do, we’ll ask for personal information, like your name, email address, telephone number or credit card. If you want to take full advantage of the sharing features we offer, we might also ask you to create a publicly visible Google Profile, which may include your name and photo.
Information we get from your use of our services. We may collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you visit a website that uses our advertising services or you view and interact with our ads and content. This information includes:…
Thus, what Don Nolan claims is an oversight, is not. Google intended to install such a process.
The question now is, what will you do about it, because it’s not likely to impact Google unless it hits the company’s bottom line.