Sometime yesterday, App Privacy labels were added to the Gmail App by its parent company Google. With this, Gmail has become one of the first prominent apps by Google to which privacy labels have been added. Earlier, Google had added privacy labels to a handful of the apps it owned like YouTube. In the recent past, many global companies added privacy labels to their apps with the aim of letting users having a broader idea about how the information and data, which they have provided, will be used by the app or the company behind it.
While App Privacy labels have been included in Gmail, the update has taken place with regards to the server. One still awaits Google to carry out an update in the internal mechanism of the app. The Gmail app last received an update around two months back. A couple of weeks ago, the app read out warnings about the fact that it was quite out of date. It had been a while since any new features were introduced in the app and it was high time that it received an upgrade. Google, at that time, ignored the warnings and did not take the initiative of giving the app an update.
In December last year, Apple started the process of integrating App Privacy labels in its App Store. Compared to the initiatives taken by the Cupertino-based tech giant in this direction, Google has not been very active in building the necessary ecosystem for this feature. In January, Google stated that it would integrate App Privacy labels to its catalog of apps sooner than later. The company had assured the users that its entire app catalog would feature App Privacy labels before the end of January but that did not really happen. When tech experts and users checked on January 20, they realized the apps had still not been updated.
Since then, Google had been taking the necessary steps to add privacy labels to its apps. Some of the major apps like YouTube, along with a few smaller apps like Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Photos, were the first ones that App Privacy labels were added to. Gmail has now become the latest app to feature this labeling.
Unlike some other big apps, there has never been a major concern regarding how Gmail uses the data it obtains from its users. It shares information like listing location, usage data, and user ID with third-party advertisers and this is something that is known to most users. Other information like search history, purchases on the app, user content, location, identifiers, and contact info are utilized for the purpose of carrying out analysis, personalize products and ensure that the app keeps functioning properly.
Many apps owned and operated by Google, including several major ones, have not received an update within months. But, there have been a few like Google Tasks, Google Translate, YouTube TV, and YouTube Music that have received significant updates with bug fixes and newer content being provided to them. App Privacy labels were added to these apps when they were updated with fresh content.
Now that App Privacy labels have been added to Gmail, one expects Google to get more proactive and integrate this feature in its app catalog soon enough.