Google cracks down on apps that want access to your SMS and call logs

Google is beginning the year with a tougher policy on privacy.

Stephen Shankland/Techhnews

Privacy concerns are far from over even as we move into the new year.

Google is removing apps that collect SMS and call log information from users from its Play store in the coming weeks, it said in a blog post Monday.

The post serves as a reminder to developers of the search giant’s new policy to restrict access to SMS and call log permissions as it seeks to improve user control over their own data.

Google’s new restriction was first announced last October giving developers 90 days to review their requests for permissions, as attention around user privacy spiked with numerous data leak scandals dominating headlines last year, including Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica saga.

Facebook also issued a warning to developers using its passwordless tool for their Android apps to make changes so they’re compliant with Google’s new policy last week.

Developers can opt to submit a permissions declaration form to allow further review by Google, but the Android maker has been strict with compliance, having rejected some requests by developers, according to Android Police.

Google referred Techhnews back to its blog post when contacted for comment.

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