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

2019 begins with more data control for you.

Zoey Chong Reporter
Zoey is CNET's Asia News Reporter based in Singapore. She prefers variety to monotony and owns an Android mobile device, a Windows PC and Apple's MacBook Pro all at the same time. Outside of the office, she can be found binging on Korean variety shows, if not chilling out with a book at a café recommended by a friend.
Zoey Chong
Google headquarters in Mountain View, California

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

Stephen Shankland/CNET

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

Google is removing apps that collect users' SMS and call log information 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 people's control over their own data.

Google's new restriction was first announced last October, giving developers 90 days to review their requests for permissions. The change was made during a spike in attention around user privacy with numerous data leak scandals dominating headlines last year, including Facebook's Cambridge Analytica saga.

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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 company has been strict with compliance and rejected some requests from developers, according to Android Police.

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

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