Thursday, February 25

Gmail finally reveals all data it collects from phone users, adds privacy labels to iOS app

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Google has finally added privacy labels to the Gmail app on Apple App Store. Google took a very long time to add labels to its major apps. After YouTube, Gmail now becomes the second most important Google app to get a privacy label. Some of the popular Google apps that are widely used by iPhone users including Gmail, Google search, Photos, Docs, and YouTube.

The privacy label on Gmail app reveals that the app collects the contact info of users, user content, contacts. The Gmail app also collects your location data for analytics.

Talking about adding labels to its apps, Google had said that it would only add labels to the app when the app updates are available, “As Google’s iOS apps are updated with new features or to fix bugs, you’ll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details. These labels represent the maximum categories of data that could be collected—meaning if you use every available feature and service in the app. The data you provide to Google products delivers helpful services to you, and you can always control your privacy settings by visiting your Google Account or going directly to the Google products you use on iOS,” the company said in a blog. However, Google added label to the Gmail app without rolling out an update like it had said earlier.

So far over 12 Google Apps now display privacy labels but they are not as popular as Gmail or YouTube. The list includes Stadia, Google Translate, Google Authenticator, Google Play Movies and TV, Google Classroom, Google Fiber, Google Fiber TV, Wear OS, Onduo for Diabetes, Project Baseline, Google Smart Lock, Motion Stills – GIF, Collage.

Apple had announced last year that all app developers are required to add privacy labels to their apps. The labels would let the users know how much data an app is collecting from a user. Although most developers complied with Apple’s new guidelines, it surely did not go down well with Facebook. The social-media giant accused Apple of being harming the business of small developers. Facebook even saw iMessage as a threat to its WhatsApp. “We think labels should be consistent across first and third-party apps as well as reflect the strong measures apps may take to protect people’s private information. While providing people with easy-to-read information is a good start, we believe it’s important people can compare this ‘ privacy nutrition’ labels from apps they download with apps that come pre-installed, like iMessage.”