To protect you from applications that are a bit too curious, Google plans to implement a new privacy policy aimed at preventing developers from accessing the inventory of applications installed on your smartphone.

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Credit: Rami Al-zayat / Unsplash

While Apple is preparing to deliver its iOS 14.5 update, which will force application developers to ask users for permission before collecting data, Google also intends to tighten the screw on the side of Android. In its new privacy policy revealed by XDA Developers, the Mountain View firm explains that it will restrict the permissions of applications installed from the Play Store. Concretely, they will no longer have access to the list of other apps installed on your smartphone.

Currently, a very specific authorization allows developers to know what other applications are installed on a smartphone, called QUERY_ALL_Packages. From now on, this authorization can only be granted in very specific cases. Anti-virus applications, file managers or even certain banking applications which, for interoperability and security needs, may continue to benefit from this authorization. Applications that will continue to use it without a valid reason should, however, be ejected from the shelves of the Play Store for non-compliance with the rules.

By doing this, Google is trying to protect Android users from overly curious apps that would exploit your app list for various reasons. This new privacy policy should be released on May 5 on smartphones equipped with the latest version of Google’s mobile OS, Android 11.

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