Google Play will prevent apps from spying on all the applications on the mobile

Until now, applications could know what other apps were installed on the same phone, but everything will change shortly: Google Play will prevent the phone software from accessing the list of installations. It will apply from May 5 and there will be exceptions for certain types of apps.

Every time we install an application, it gains access to certain parts of the phone. To find out more information, usually necessary for the app to work, the software asks the user for permissions that the user grants it manually and automatically upon installation. Until now, all Android applications could know what other software they shared the device with, but Google Play has decided to stop this action with a permission restriction that will come into effect very soon.

The 'QUERYALLPACKAGES 'will be restricted from May 5

Google Play 5

Knowing which applications the user has installed is not only important for some apps that seek to offer a security and maintenance service, but also It is of enormous value to all companies that trade in usage data. In fact, the purpose of many applications is to require the list of installed apps to use the information for their own benefit; an attack on privacy that Google intends to nip in the bud.

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As of May 5, all applications that point to API level 30, which came into effect with Android 11, will be banned from the use of 'QUERYALLPACKAGES ', a permission that allows you to obtain the list of all the apps on your Android device. This limitation will prevent developers from obtaining information that their app does not need, but always passively: it will be the developer who has to comply with the reasonable use policy.

Apps that can use the 'QUERYALLPACKAGES 'are those dedicated to In-device search, virus and malware scanning, file managers, and web browsers. Also applications that need to create a security framework; such as banking and digital wallets.

Google relies on the responsibility of the developers as it will not automatically block the use of the permission. In the event that it detects an incorrect activity, it will penalize the developer

The limitation to obtain the list of installed applications will begin on May 5, 2021. It will be a voluntary restriction since Google Play will not apply automatic blocks to apps that try to activate the 'QUERYALLPACKAGES '. Of course: in the event that Google detects an incorrect use the company can suspend the application and even the developer's account.

Via | 9to5Google