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Showing last calls inside android app in Google Privacy Policy compliant way-Exceptionshub

Posted by: admin February 26, 2020 Leave a comment


I’ve got an app which shows user’s contacts inside device and allows him to make a call.
I want to show my user the last calls he has made. I was using READ_CALL_LOG permission (and was reading call log) until Google restricted access to it, then I switched to ContactsProvider to retrieve contacts and sort them by LAST_TIME_CONTACTED but now Google says this column is deprecated and effectively it will have 0 value for new versions of Android OS (see https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/providers/contacts-provider#ObsoleteData)

My app is not a default dialer (only default dialers apps are allowed to access call log) so I was wondering how I can achieve what I want in Google Policy compliant way.

I tought about storing the last contacts selected inside my own database (I know it won’t be a full call log, as I will only have access to calls made from my app but that’s fine for me), but don’t know whether it’s compliant with G Policy. I wrote an email to Google, however the person who replied said he can’t help me with my question and I have to create new version of my app and ask them for review.

Does anyone know if my idea about saving contacts in my own database is compliant with G policy (please provide links from official sites). From my link (which I’ve provided above) I can only see that Google says

If your apps are accessing or updating these fields or APIs, use
alternative methods. For example, you can fulfill certain use cases by
using private content providers or other data stored within your app
or backend systems.

However it doesn’t convince me to whether my idea is compliant

Thanks for help!

How to&Answers:

I believe you may store and use any user actions that had happened within your app.
The purpose of the policy (as stated here: https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/9047303?hl=en) is to prevent apps from getting access to the call-log in order to make use of it for purposes other then what users’ expect, that’s why the emphasis on critical core functionality of the app.

In my experience, different Google reviewers tend to review the same app very differently, and while one may reject a certain use-case based on this policy, another might approve it.

I would suggest phrasing the screen you want to create in a way that will help the reviewer understand that this data was not acquired from the call-log but some app specific actions, so for example instead of title “Call Log” which might confuse some reviewers with the risk of rejecting this update, you should title it “Recent app actions” or something like that.