Google Play asks app developers to share accurate user data, prohibits ‘sugar daddy’ apps

Google Play asks app developers to share accurate user data, prohibits ‘sugar daddy’ apps
  • Google Play brings new updates to improve the privacy and security of its users.
  • The new update prohibits apps that use interpreted languages like Javascript deceptively.
  • The new update requires apps to share accurate user data that is collected by them.
In a recent policy update, Google Play put apps to notice with new security enhancement and disclosure of personal data usage. The new update in the Device and Network Abuses policy prohibits apps or SDKs with interpreted languages like JavaScript, Python and Lua from violating any Google Play policies. The policy will come into effect from October 15, 2021.

The Device and Network Abuse states, “an app distributed via Google Play may not modify, replace, or update itself using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism.”

Along with that, the policy also prohibits apps from downloading executable code from a source other than Google Play. This ban does not apply to code that runs in a virtual machine and has limited access to Android APIs.

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Along with it, an app is not allowed to fetch executable files from any source other than Google Play. But this ban will not apply to apps that are running codes in a virtual machine such as Javascript running in a web view or a browser.

App developers must share accurate user data

The User Data policy saw a fresh addition to it that will be effective from April 1, 2021. This new addition entails developers disclosing accurate information related to personal or sensitive user data that is collected and used by the app. It also requires all apps to post the privacy policy in the app and the Google Play console.

The current User Data policy does require apps to share the user data with Google, but it does not say anything about the accuracy.

No more “sugar daddy” apps

The updated policy also features new restrictions in the Inappropriate Content Policy that prohibits apps that include compensated sexual relationships. The “sugar daddy” apps will not be allowed on Google’s Play Store with effect from September 1, 2021.

Sugar daddy refers to an older, wealthy individual who presents gifts and money to a younger partner to have a relationship with them. Even though, Google did not say why these apps are going to be prohibited but this announcement falls in line with United State’s law against online sex trafficking that removes protection of content promoting or facilitating prostitution.

The existing content policy states, “We don't allow apps that contain or promote sexual content or profanity, including pornography, or any content or services intended to be sexually gratifying.”

Google Play to delete inactive developer accounts

Beyond these changes, Google Play introduces stringent policies on developers that have remained inactive for a year or more. “We’re adding a new section in our Enforcement policy to close inactive or abandoned developer accounts after 1 year of dormancy and additional factors,” states the Google Play policy update.

The company will make an exception on apps with over a thousand downloads and recent in-app purchases, but if the developer has not logged in to the Google Play console or uploaded a new app, then their account is at the risk of being deleted. The policy will come into effect from September 1, 2021.

These changes and updates in policy are to make Google Play store safe for users as the company plans to come down heavily on non-compliant and fraudulent developers.

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