Google tightening rules for apps that use location in the background

This fall Android apps will use your location a lot less

Google is making a big push to revamp privacy with Android 11, and it seems that as a part of that effort, it’s locking down location access within Android apps.

In a post on the Android Developer’s Blog, the team says that it has been looking into issues surrounding location tracking on Android and found that a lot of apps that request location data don’t actually need it all the time. Instead, Google says most apps only really require location access when people are using the app.

To remedy this, Google is adding in a requirement that all apps need to seek approval before it can access background location data. This change is set to apply sometime later this year.

When Google does implement this shift, it will judge an app’s need for constant location data on these three criteria:

  • Does the feature deliver clear value to the user?
  • Would users expect the app to access their location in the background?
  • Is the feature important to the primary purpose of the app?
  • Can you deliver the same experience without accessing location in the background?

It’s also worth noting that Google is going to do this to all apps that request background location data, not just new ones.

If you’re a developer and concerned that your app might not fall in line with these new rules, you can visit the developer blog to learn more about the change and when you need to update your app by.

For regular consumers, all you need to know is that by November 2nd all apps will need to either support the new background location data rules or they’ll be removed from the Play Store.

Source: Android Developers Blog