Google is set to follow in the footsteps of Apple and others with its new "data disclosure" policy. On 8 December Apple's scheduled Privacy Prompt Labels will go live. These Labels will be available to users of the App Store and will reveal the data points each application listing collects about the individual, the tracking across applications and the data shared with third-party partners, prior to the user completing their app purchase.
Google's new Chrome "Privacy Practices" section is not unique in light of Apple's latest development. The announcement from Google (with the policy set to go live on 18 January 2021) potentially signals the increasing preparedness of Silicon Valley's elite to move towards an era of heightened transparency, as Google will also disclose what user data they are collecting and the degree of monetisation in onward processes. However, for both Apple's and Google's "nutrition labels" the details will be provided by the developers which limits the extent to which they are accountable, and the mechanism relies heavily on the proactiveness and honesty of developers to not only disclose all details about their data usage but also to update the labels in light of new lucrative partnerships for example.
It will be interesting to observe to what extent this seemingly positive development is successful under the self-assessment model and how consumers interact with the development to protect their data rights.
Google's new "data usage" dashboard will ship with a limited set of preset options, which will effectively prohibit Chrome developers from certain data practices, such as: The bulk sale of user data by ensuring the use or transfer of user data is for the primary benefit of the user and in accordance with the stated purpose of the extension. The use or transfer of user data for personalized advertising. The use or transfer of user data for creditworthiness or any form of lending qualification and to data brokers or other information resellers.