Google sends app buyer personal data to developers

I am sure we all get calls from telemarketing agents offering to help use reclaim PPI or wanting us to take part in a “consumer survey.” Our details are bought from companies we register with or passed between affiliates to gain potential custom. Unless you tick the box to say you don’t want them to do it however.

But now it’s come to light that Google actively sends the personal details of app buyers to the developer. While this is nothing new, the level of detail the devs receive is disturbing. According to Australian developer Dan Nolan, Google sends him the name, suburb and email address of the people who purchase his app. He says:

[It’s enough] track down and harass users who left negative reviews.

Nolan made the discovery via his ‘merchant account,’ while updating his seller details. He keeps a blog as well, and has posted about the situation he found himself in on Tuesday. It’s safe to say he isn’t impressed.

This is a massive, massive privacy issue Google. Fix it. Immediately.

Nolan has even spoke with news.com.au about the issue. He has said he doesn’t know if the same practice is applied to free apps, but that any user that purchases an app, their details are passed on. To put things in perspective, Apple only send the devs the number of app sales in each country. Nolan went on to add:

If you bought the app on Google Play (even if you cancelled the order), I have your email address, your suburb, and in many instances your full name.

Google are yet to respond to Nolan’s discovery, but you have to wonder why, if this is common practice, it wasn't flagged up previously by a different developer.

Google’s Terms of Service for Play do not say anything about the sharing of members personal details with the devs of purchased apps. Although your email and registered address can be shared with magazine publishers.

Google’s Privacy Statement does say that Google shares its information between Google services, with the exception of Double-Click, and that it “will ask for your consent before using information for a purpose other than those that are set out in this Privacy Policy.” Maybe not in this instance.

Source: ZDNet

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