Google's Play Store updates policies to prevent call, SMS abuse

MANILA, Philippines – Google announced Monday, October 8, it was updating the policies on the Play Store to better prevent call and text data leaks on the Android platform.

Moving forward, Play Store apps that wish to have call logs or SMS permissions must be the primary call, SMS, or assistant app on a user's device.

Prior to this, Android apps could ask permission to access those logs without necessarily needing them, which posed a potential security risk that benefited the unscrupulous.

The policy update will take effect 90 days from now, or on January 6.

Meanwhile, apps with a legitimate need for access to the SMS or call logs – such as caller ID apps and backup and restoration services – can get in touch with Google to work on an alternative means of access or to have exceptions set for them.

9to5Google added the changes to the Play Store policy will not affect other app stores, such as Amazon's, and will not affect Android as a whole. If you're distributing your app outside the Play Store, the policy change will not apply. –

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.