Setting Expectations for Accessing User Data via OAuth

Posted by William Denniss, Product Manager, Identity and Authentication
Lavanya Mahendran, Policy Advisor, Google Cloud Platform and Google APIs

Developers have created an exciting ecosystem of mobile and web applications that offer a seemingly infinite array of features and services for consumers to utilize. Today you can download applications that offer to increase your productivity at work, as well as applications that manage your daily expenses or help you meditate, and many more.

We know that our users love using these applications, and we recognize that often Google users want to share their data with these applications to personalize or enhance the experience. Google provides a rich variety of API services that developers may access, and we provide developers the ability to request permission directly from our users when they want to access various categories of user data.

The privacy and security of our users’ data is very important to us, and we’ve always expected developers to treat Google user data with transparency and concern for user choice. Among other things, this means that we’ve long expected developers to get informed consent when they request access to user data, so that users understand what data they are sharing and how it will be used.

We’re always looking for ways to make our requirements more accessible to everyone, including our end-users. To that end, we recently published expanded policy guidelines for developers who wish to access Google user data using our API services. We hope this guidance will help developers and Google users interact in a manner that is informed and overall consistent with user expectations.

Read the full Google API Services User Data policy.

We hope that developers and Google users find this policy guidance helpful. We believe that transparency around the collection and use of Google user data is necessary to ensure informed user consent, but also that it genuinely fosters a helpful and productive dialogue between developers and users that ultimately benefits the entire ecosystem. Google account users can review and manage the apps and websites connected to their Google account from the My Accountpage. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below.