Google Play Trust and Safety Update

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Posted by Krish Vitaldevara, Director of Product Management Trust & Safety, Google Play

As part of our continuing efforts to enhance user trust and safety across Google Play, we regularly examine our policies to ensure a positive experience for developers and users. Today we are announcing policy updates that give users more control over their data, tighten subscription policies, and help prevent deceptive apps and media getting onto the Play Store.

We understand that many of you are adjusting to or actively supporting efforts in response to the current unprecedented circumstances. We want to assure you that we are mindful and supportive of those efforts, and have taken steps to minimize the potential short-term impact of these changes. You can read more about that in this blog post which shares resources for developers navigating the current context. We also wanted to briefly highlight two of the more impactful policies announced today.

More transparent subscription offers

Subscriptions continue to grow in popularity on Play; however, we hear user feedback that it isn’t always clear what you are signing up for. The goal of this policy update is to ensure users understand the subscription offer, the terms of free trials and introductory offers, and how to manage their subscription, including cancellation.

This blog post goes into more detail about the changes and gives examples of best practices and common violations. Developers have until June 16th to make any changes to their offer page.

Limiting unnecessary location access

Users consistently tell us that they want more control over their location data and that we should take every precaution to prevent misuse. Android users have always needed to grant explicit permission to any app that wants access to their location data. In Android 11, we’re granting additional user controls with the ability to grant a temporary “one-time” permission.

In February, we announced we would require that developers get approval if they want to access background location in their app. This ensures that only apps that really need access for core functionality can ask users for permission. This policy is now live and we encourage all developers who access location to view it.

We realize complying with certain aspects of this policy may require work for some developers so we are giving you an extended timeline to make changes. We suggest that you review location best practices and evaluate whether you have appropriate disclosures, and really need background location; however, no action will be taken for new apps until August 2020 or existing apps until November 2020. Additional details can be found in this help center article and we’ll keep you updated if processes or timelines change.
Thanks for your continued support in making Google Play a trustworthy and valuable experience for everyone.

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