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Google says mistake led to Messages app appearing on privacy dashboard (Update: Fixed)

The listing error should be corrected now.

Published onDecember 14, 2023

Google Messages SMS stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Users discovered that the Google Messages app appeared in the Play Store’s privacy dashboard.
  • The warning stated that the app was sharing location data with third parties.
  • Google says the app appeared in the privacy dashboard by accident and has now been fixed.

Update, December 14, 2023 (10:06 AM ET): Google has let Android Authority know that the problem described in the original article below has been fixed. If you are still seeing the erroneous setting, sit tight, as it will resolve itself soon.

Original article, December 13, 2023 (05:53 PM ET): The Play Store‘s privacy dashboard — a feature that shows you apps that are accessing data, what permissions are being used, and when that access is happening — added a “Data sharing updates for location” summary after Android 14 launched. Google Messages recently appeared in that dashboard, suggesting the app was sharing location data, but it appears a mistake was made.

First spotted by 9to5Google, there were reports that the Google Messages app was found in the privacy dashboard. The dashboard warned users that “Your location data is now shared with third parties.” Under the Data Safety section of the Play Store, it says that your approximate and precise location may be shared with other companies or organizations.

While this discovery surely shocked many Google Messages users, it appears this breach of privacy is not actually happening. In a statement to the outlet, Google claims the app’s development team accidentally checked the wrong Data safety box. As a result of this error, the app triggered a warning from the privacy dashboard.

At this time, no other major Google apps appear in the privacy dashboard. If this was just a mistake, Google Messages should likely be removed from the privacy dashboard soon.

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