Google has announced some changes in its Developer Program Policy that will not allow bad actors to spy on you. The company is restricting the use of high-risk or sensitive permissions. This includes access to the list of apps installed on an Android device, by any app. It means that Google is limiting apps downloaded to your Android device from gaining access to the installed app inventory until it is necessary for it to undertake its core user-facing functionality.
According to a post on the Google Play Console Help support page, if an app does not meet the requirements for acceptable use, the developer must remove it from the app’s manifest to comply with the new policy. The new changes will come into effect starting May 5. Google says it regards “the device inventory of installed apps queried from a user’s device as personal and sensitive information.”
This change will make it harder for apps to spy on what apps are installed on your phone. Hence, strengthening measures for user privacy. For reference, if apps have access to your device’s app inventory, it can be used for targeted advertisements or for malicious purposes. The updated policy says, “must be able to sufficiently justify why a less intrusive method of app visibility will not sufficiently enable [their] app’s policy compliant user-facing core functionality.”