Massive Google Play Privacy Issue Uncovered, Sends App Buyers Personal Details to Developers

Questions are being raised on Google Play’s privacy issues and you must be concerned for it transfers your personal details to the app developer whose apps you buy. Aussie App developer ‘Dan Nolan’ uncovered that he could actually see personal details of app buyers in his ‘merchant account’ section.


In his blog post, Dan mentioned that he could access his app buyer’s email address, full name and their suburbs. This information is sufficient enough for an app developer to harass a Google user for leaving a negative review about his app at the Play Store or for asking a refund of the app purchase.

According to Google’s guidelines, if you buy an app from Play Store and are not satisfied with it, you can claim a refund for the app you purchased but don’t wish to use it anymore. According to Google’s refund policy:

[quote]You have 15 minutes from the time of download to return an application purchased on Google Play for a full refund. You may only return a given application once; if you subsequently purchase the same app again, you may not return it a second time.[/quote]

No matter you claim a refund or not, your personal details have been transferred to the app developer.

Transactions in Google Play Store take place using Google Wallet. When you sign up for Google Wallet, you need to enter you credit card details and your name along with the PIN code. This is stored on your Google account but Google does not mention that your personal data will be transferred to the app developer. It is not mentioned in Google Wallet Privacy Policy either.

Dan’s finding raises a big question on Google’s privacy policy. Google says that some information of the app buyer is sent to the app developer, however there is no information on what does the pronoun refer to and what kind of information is transferred.