Australian developer Dan Nolan has discovered that Google is sending him the name, suburb (where people live), and email address of anyone buying his app on the Google Play store.
He discovered it after checking his merchant account to update his seller payment details. He isn’t sure about customer details for free apps, but is sure the practice is being applied globally for paid apps. This is what Nolan posted on his blog after discovering the privacy issue:
“This is a massive oversight by Google. Under no circumstances should I be able to get the information of the people who are buying my apps unless they opt into it and it’s made crystal clear to them that I’m getting this information. This is a massive, massive privacy issue Google. Fix it. Immediately.”
Nolan also added that even if you cancel your order, once you buy the app on Google play, he would already have “your email address, your suburb, and in many instances your full name.”
ZDNet notes that Google’s TOS do not mention the sharing of details with developers for paid apps, but that email and address details may be shared with magazine publishers. They also add that Google has not yet responded to a request for comment on the issue.
Now, what could G0ogle possibly say to get out of this? I wonder… Nope, can’t think of anything.