The Android team is officially removing apps that require SMS or Call Log permission. The Google Play Store will be deleting such apps from the lineup after Android asked the developers to submit their permissions declaration form. If you’re a developer, you can make sure your app remains on the app store by submitting what is needed. This move is to ensure sensitive data and permissions are properly secured. You don’t have to worry if your app requires permissions before fully working but you need to follow some guidelines.
Google is restricting developer access to those SMS and Call Log permissions. It’s a new policy that ensures these applications need full access to data. The goal is for users to understand and agree that certain data are definitely required to properly work.
App developers are enjoined to remove the permission. The tech giant sent an email and gave them time to remove the permission within 90 days. A review will also be done if a permissions declaration form is provided.
There may be instances that an app is removed. If a dev wants it republished, the following must be done in the Play Console:
• submit a new version without these permissions, or
• submit a new version of your app that retains the permissions. Doing so will require you to complete a permissions declaration form inside the Play Console (coming soon) and will give you an extension until March 9th to remove the permissions or receive approval for your use case. (From ADB)
This move reminds us of the Tasker automation apps being given SMS and Call Log permissions again. From task automation apps to apps that need SMS/Call Log permissions, the Android development team seems to be doing its best to protect user data.
SOURCE: Android Developers Blog