iOS developer Dan Nolan was appalled to learn as he marketed his first Android app that Google was providing him with the name, email address and city of every user who purchased his app.
Individual apps have faced user backlash and even fines for grabbing information about a user from his or her phone without first asking permission.
“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,” Nolan wrote on his blog.
Nolan received the information even when users had canceled their orders, he said. Users must also use their full name to publish app reviews on Google Play.
“With the information I have available to me through the checkout portal I could track down and harass users who left negative reviews or refunded the app purchase,” Nolan said.
Google did not respond to a request for comment.