Google Play is an app market founded on the principle of openness. If you have an app, you can submit it. No walled-gardens in sight. But when it comes to complete transparency, do you really want a developer knowing who you are, where you are and how to get in touch with you when you purchase one of their apps for Android? Because that’s exactly what happens every time you click the buy button.
Dan Nolan, developer of the chart-topping app Paul Keating Insult Generator, decided to port the app over to Android recently and decided to check up on things recently. When he logged into his Merchant Account, he was met with a bit of startling information. He writes on his blog:
Today I decided to log into my Google Play account to update my payment details. I jumped over to the ‘Merchant Account’ section to see the orders and realised one absolutely insane thing. 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.
Dan adds that if he wanted to, he could use this information to badger those who left negative reviews on his app, or spam them with marketing info that user’s haven’t explicitly agreed to accept, and that’s a problem. Sure it’s covered in the Terms of Service and so on, but does anyone really read that? [Dan Nolan]