Friday February 10, 2017

Millions of Apps Could Soon be Purged from the Google Play Store

And it's about time! Google has been sending developers notices of their intent to limit visibility or remove apps that violate the company's user data policy. You know, the types of apps that are poor knockoffs of the real thing, with limited functionality, that exist only to trick you into downloading them, so the dev can collect your user data when you give the app permission.

I think I speak for all of us when I say that I think this move is WAY overdue. The question is, why don't they screen the apps before they go live in the first place? It seems a little bit late do do it after the fact.

News Image

Hello Google Play Developer,

Our records show that your app <REDACTED> with package name <REDACTED> currently violates our User Data policy regarding Personal and Sensitive Information.

Policy Issue: Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information. Your app requests sensitive permissions (e.g. camera, microphone, accounts, contacts, or phone) or user data, but does not include a valid privacy policy.

Action Required: Include a link to a valid privacy policy on your app’s Store Listing page and within your app. You can find more information in our help center.

Alternatively, you may opt-out of this requirement by removing any requests for sensitive permissions or user data.

If you have additional apps in your catalog, please make sure they are compliant with our Prominent Disclosure requirements.

Please resolve this issue by March 15, 2017, or administrative action will be taken to limit the visibility of your app, up to and including removal from the Play Store. Thanks for helping us provide a clear and transparent experience for Google Play users.

Regards,

The Google Play Team

Discussion