What Google Play’s Privacy Policy Update Means for App Developers

In early February, Google sent notices to app developers around the world with a simple message: Update your privacy policy by March 15 or risk “administrative action.”

In part, the notice states: “Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information.

As for “administrative action,” Google indicates that could include limiting “the visibility of your app, up to and including removal from the Play Store.”

Screenshot of the Privacy Policy Update Notice

TheNextWeb.com reported on the news, providing a screenshot of the notice:

 

Google Play Privacy Policy Email

 

As BleepingComputer.com reports: “Google Play Store rules state that developers whose app requests intrusive permissions feature a detailed privacy policy that tells users what happens with their data.” The post continues: “Based on Google’s mass email, it appears that many apps don’t follow this simple requirement.”

So what does this mean for app publishers:

  • If you haven’t done so already, make sure your apps provide a valid privacy policy. In other words, ensure your apps follow the rules.
  • For publishers of small apps, the problem is more challenging. Many may never have intended on maintaining proper privacy policies in the first place.
  • For others who do want to do the right thing, securing developer time is always a challenge.
  • For publishers whose apps are updated, the news brings opportunity: The stragglers may get purged. Less competition – even less noise in the system – might mean improved search results or better “shelf space” for your app.
  • For publishers whose apps are fully compliant and who have been waiting for an opportunity to market or publicize their app – now might be the time. With potentially less competition in the Google Play Store, you just may have a better chance of converting folks who see your marketing efforts.

As ZDNet.com reports: “This is likely to be a welcome move for developers who take the time to ensure their programming and permissions requests are right and user data is handled properly. The planned purge may also be an indication that the tech giant is seeking to tighten control and improve standards in the congested Android app marketplace.”

As for getting a bronze star from Google for having proper privacy policies in place… we don’t recommend holding your breath. But you still might want to make the most of the opportunity.

Disclaimer: All the information published in this article are to be applied at your own risk. Please note that we will not be held reliable for any damage to and/or negative influence on your app activity for any knowledge applied.

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