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Google Wallet Changes Address Privacy Concerns of App Buyers

April 23, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

Google Wallet is somewhat of an enigma, it’s Google’s way of paying safely and securely across their platforms and in some cases elsewhere on the web. As safe and secure as something from Google sounds, Wallet wasn’t entirely careful with information of ours whenever we bought an app from the Play Store. A new Android developer found this out and ran a blog post about it. The long and short of it comes down to the following:

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. Each Google Play order is treated as a Google wallet transaction and as such software developers get all of the information (sans exact address) for an order of an app that they would get from the order of something physical. Even underneath the order information there is a flag that says ‘Email Marketing’ with a value next to it, because of course scrupulous developers would always obey that flag.

Regardless of whether or not you care that information of yours has been passed on, it doesn’t seem right for something like an app or a game, does it? We could chalk this up to an honest mistake on Google’s part but, let’s face it, Google are smarter than that. Now though, it looks like Google have changed this behavior and have rolled out a new version of the Google Wallet for developers, which removes much of the info they were privy to in the old version.

No longer is your name listed in the details of the purchase and the only piece of slightly personal information that remains is the general location of the purchase, which is required for tax purposes. Overall, the issue might not have been as bad as the community made out but, having that sort of info there for somebody – anybody – to use is not a nice thing to think about. Who knows what type of person the developer on the other end is?

Recently, Google has come under fire from Microsoft over privacy concerns thanks to their “Scroogled” campaign. Microsoft have been painting Google in a bad light when it comes to privacy, citing issues with GMail, Shopping and of course, the fact that developers were privy to sensitive info. You can take a look at the Scroogled website here and watch some pretty…interesting videos.

[Source: Droid-Life]