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Google cracks down on apps that want access to your text and call logs

CNET logo CNET 15/1/2019 Zoey Chong
a large red umbrella sitting in front of a building: Google is beginning the year with a tougher policy on privacy. © CNET

Google is beginning the year with a tougher policy on privacy.

Privacy concerns are far from over even as we move into the new year.

Google is removing apps that collect users' SMS and call log information from its Play store in the coming weeks, it said in a blog post Monday. The post serves as a reminder to developers of the search giant's new policy to restrict access to SMS and call log permissions as it seeks to improve people's control over their own data.

Google's new restriction was first announced last October, giving developers 90 days to review their requests for permissions. The change was made during a spike in attention around user privacy with numerous data leak scandals dominating headlines last year, including Facebook's Cambridge Analytica saga.

Privacy advocates rank the creepiest tech gifts of 2018

a close up of a toy: Mozilla has created a whole website devoted to privacy concerns across a range of products, which you can vote up or down on its "creep-o-meter." These are just a handful. FREDI Baby Monitor comes with a default password of "123" -- and that password's printed on the outside of the box, making the monitor easy to hack. If you do need to buy a baby monitor, check CNET's expert advice .

Mozilla has created a whole website devoted to privacy concerns across a range of products, which you can vote up or down on its "creep-o-meter." These are just a handful. FREDI Baby Monitor comes with a default password of "123" -- and that password's printed on the outside of the box, making the monitor easy to hack. If you do need to buy a baby monitor, check CNET's expert advice .
© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Facebook also issued a warning to developers using its passwordless tool for their Android apps to make changes so they're compliant with Google's new policy last week.

Developers can opt to submit a permissions declaration form to allow further review by Google, but the company has been strict with compliance and rejected some requests from developers, according to Android Police.

Google referred CNET back to its blog post when contacted for comment.

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