Google has issued a warning to app developers, advising them to be transparent with their users about the information they share with Huq, a British company that sells location data.
Apps that do not comply with Google’s data policy may be removed from the Play store, according to the company.
It comes after Huq told the News Media that at least two of his app partners had failed to obtain the necessary user permissions.
Huq stated that the company took data security “extremely seriously” and that all partners were now in compliance.
Regulators and policymakers throughout the world are increasingly scrutinizing app collaborations and data sharing with third parties.
Huq collaborates with a number of apps, including a Muslim prayer app, a flight tracker, and a weather app.
Huq provides app developers with lines of code that give back location data, which Huq then collates. Clients, including a number of UK councils, are then sold this information.
However, a Vice story published in October cast questions on whether users were aware that their data was being shared when they utilized these apps.
Huq later confessed to the News Media that at least two apps shared data with the company without getting users’ permission.
Google announced a new user data policy in October, requiring apps to be transparent about how any data they gather is handled.
“As part of our review, we’ve issued a warning to any app developers who we found to be in breach of Google Play regulations,” Google added.
However, it refused to reveal how many app developers had been warned.
“We continue to take the topic of data privacy and consent very seriously and actively support any initiative aiming to make changes in this area,” Huq CEO Conrad Poulson stated.
“It’s critical for us to continue to collaborate with our partners to ensure that privacy best practices are introduced and maintained.”
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