Google Play’s New Privacy Policy Rule Goes into Effect on March 15th

Google Play’s New Privacy Policy Rule Goes into Effect on March 15th

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Back in December of last year, Google changed some rules for if and when developers must have a privacy policy for their applications and games. This new rule was published in the help section of the Developer Console, but it didn’t say when Google would be actively enforcing it.

Now, we’re seeing emails go out to developers who have applications in the Play Store that give us more information about what this new rule means and what Google will do to those who don’t follow it.

So, if there’s an application or game that requests or handles sensitive user or device information, then this new rule applies to them. By sensitive user or device information, Google means the application or game is asking Android for permission to access things like the camera, microphone, account details, contact information, the phone, or any user data. If you there’s an application or game that is requesting this type of data that does not have a valid privacy policy in place then an email will be sent to them shortly (if it hasn’t been already).

The developer either has to uploaded a valid privacy policy to inform the user what they’re doing with this data, or they have the option to update the application or game and remove all requests for this type of sensitive permissions and/or data. The developer has until March 15th of this year to make this change or Google will step in and take action on applications or games that aren’t following this rule. Google says applications or games that don’t follow this rule could have their visibility limited, or even removed from the Play Store entirely.

It’s because of this last bit that we’re seeing a lot of reports that say Google could be close to removing millions of applications and games from the Play Store. The Play Store has been around for years and there are a ton of legacy applications that simply haven’t been updated since they were launched. So this could be a way for Google to do a little spring cleaning if they choose to go down that route.

Source: The Next Web