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Google is Remodeling Gmail and Android Security, Here’s How:

By Bhupinder Kour
October 10, 2018 2. min read
Last update on: April 6, 2020

Google is a big name in today’s world. Most of the tech tools we use in our day to day lives are provided by Google. Naturally, the responsibility for data security will be as big as its name. In a recent news, it was revealed that Google is revamping their most used product – Gmail for Android in order to make it more secure.

The changes will be made for the way permission is asked from Android app users. The new changes might slow down the permission process but it will be a lot more secure than the earlier version.

[Extra: Android vs iOS: Which Platform is More Secure in 2018]

All this revamping is a part of Google’s “Project Strobe”.

It all started with the incident where a bug was found inside Google+ which started revealing non-public profile data to the applications that were only supposed to get access to public profile data. This led to shutting down the Google+ services altogether. It also encouraged Google to increase their security for third-party apps access to Google accounts.

Google also admitted that Google+ was barely in use and the active engagement level was as low as 10% of the total users. Stats showed that 90% of the users were only active for 5 seconds or less. Generally Google products get a lot of attention and audience but Google+ failed to prove its purpose after all this time.

The Google team is looking into many ways to improve the data sharing process with the third party apps. There are multiple new ideas and are yet to be finalized.

One of the first changes a user will see is the permission to access process. Earlier Google used to ask for permission to access all the account data such as Calendar, Gmail or Drive at the same time. But now permission to access any of these data will be asked separately which means you can either choose to allow or deny access to certain Google account data. This will help in sharing only the necessary data to the third-party apps.

Apart from giving separate permission, users can also delay granting permission. Suppose if an app wants access to your phone’s gallery, it asks for permission to access the camera at that moment. Some people feel skeptical about granting permission to apps right away. For this, options like “allow this time” and “deny this time” would be the lifesaver.

This permission can always be changed manually in the settings later. All these changes will come into action later this month so if you find your Google acting differently, it’s just the new updates.

Other changes that Google is making is regarding the data limitation. It is basically how much data can apps access from your Gmail and messaging and which apps get access to data in the first place. Google is specific about restricting any sensitive data from your Gmail account. They are also seeing to it that apps don’t access data from your call logs and messaging history.

As good as it sounds to us users, people who use multiple messaging apps may find it annoying. Some users have messaging apps that integrate message replies but now with this new update by Google, those apps will have a hard time doing that for users. The applications might get permission from Google to access the messaging and call log data of users but it is going to take a lot to convince Google.

These new changes also bring new rules for Android developers and Android app development companies. The restrictions include that user data cannot be sold or shared for marketing purposes, email campaign tracking, market research or any other purpose. Also, any apps asking for Gmail data to handle for users will need to submit a detailed report for the same.

[Take a look: Steps to Integrate App Security into Mobile Application Development ]

For developers who will not comply with the changes, Google will suspend their apps by the end of March next year. These major changes plus more new ones will come into action from January next year. Google is doing everything to ensure the security of its users and each component has to play its part in the new initiative.

Being a Google Developer Agency, we stand by the tech giant’s focus towards security.  We at Appinventiv are also working continuously to improve user security through our Android app development process. Every application that we develop is built keeping in mind the security of millions of users that use our apps.

Bhupinder Kour
Bhupinder Kour
Content Writer
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