Home Health Google Play Store Announces Numerous New Policies to Fight Misinformation, Limit Ads, and Strengthen Security

Google Play Store Announces Numerous New Policies to Fight Misinformation, Limit Ads, and Strengthen Security

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Google Play Store Announces Numerous New Policies to Fight Misinformation, Limit Ads, and Strengthen Security

The landscape of the app market is always changing, and with it, platform owners must constantly adjust their policies to keep pace with changing winds and new technologies. Google has recently added and updated a large number of Google Play Store policies in one go, and will be fully implemented in the next few months. Some changes are closely related to developers, but some such as changes to cancel subscriptions and personal rights are related to users. most attention.

Google Play Store announces slew of new policies to combat misinformation, limit ads, and strengthen security flaws

A series of new policies will be officially on the road from July 27, 2022. Unless there are special circumstances, all new and existing applications will be given a 30-day grace period to make changes to meet the specifications of the new policy. In the following, when I organize, I will mark on the sublabel whether it is related to the user or developer.

Restricted USE_EXACT_ALARM license (for developers, effective July 31, 2022)

The first policy change coming into effect will affect developers on API level 32 or Android 13. Google introduced the USE_EXACT_ALARM license in Android 13 beta 2, and developers must meet the following conditions for apps to be approved for the Google Play Store, and Google has previously said that this policy change will happen when the USE_EXACT_ALARM license is announced. .

Limit health misinformation and fake apps (for users, effective August 31, 2022)

The first policy, which will go into effect and affect all users, will limit the spread of health misinformation and prevent the proliferation of fake apps. The following are the so-called health misinformation violations:

  • Misleading claims about vaccines, such as vaccines can alter human DNA, etc.

  • Promote harmful, unapproved treatments.

  • Promote other harmful health messages, such as conversion therapy.

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In the counterfeit application section, the following specifications are used:

  • Falsely imply developers related to other companies, developers, groups, organizations.

  • Icons and titles incorrectly imply apps related to other companies, developers, groups, organizations.

  • Falsely claiming to be the official app of an existing actual group, titles like “BTS Official” are not allowed unless necessary permission and authorization are required.

  • Apps that violate the Android Brand Guidelines.

Interstitial improvements and easier unsubscription (for users and developers, effective September 30, 2022)

Have you ever had to deal with ubiquitous interstitial ads, or ads that were too long to delay time? The so-called interstitial advertisements refer to the full-page advertisements displayed when entering the next level or transition. The most commonly seen is the video format. Google is restricting how developers can use ads in apps to improve the user experience. Here are the specifications for interstitials that follow:

  • Full-page interstitial ads in all formats (video, GIF, static, etc.) are not allowed and are often displayed unexpectedly when the user chooses to take another action.

  • Ads displayed during gameplay at the start of a level or at the start of content details are not allowed.

  • Full-page video interstitials displayed before the app loading screen (splash screen) are not allowed.

  • Full-size interstitials of all formats that cannot be closed after 15 seconds of the ad are not allowed. For example, after a score screen in a gaming app, there may be an ad that lasts more than 15 seconds.

As for the specification of easier cancellation of subscription, so that users can avoid falling into a situation where subscription is easy to cancel and difficult to cancel, the application must contain the following or equivalent:

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Restrictions on tracking software, VPNServise applications must comply with FLAG_SECURE

Apps that can be used to track people will always be a source of privacy controversy, but some believe they could be an effective child safety aid (or a rape catcher). You may want to use them to keep tabs on family members away from home, especially if they may be in a dangerous or unsafe location. However, these tools are often prone to abuse, and Google is introducing some changes to help reduce abuse. In addition to the original data logo stating “IsMonitoringTool”, the tracking application must also comply with the following requirements:

  • Apps must not present themselves as spying or covert surveillance solutions.

  • Tracking should not be hidden or disguised, nor should it attempt to mislead users about such features.

  • A persistent notification must always be displayed to the user at runtime, along with a unique icon that clearly identifies the app.

  • Monitoring or tracking capabilities must be specified in the Google Play Store description.

  • Apps and app details on Google Play must not provide any means of launching or accessing features that violate these terms, such as linking to non-compliant APKs hosted outside of Google Play.

  • Apps must comply with any applicable local laws, and developers are solely responsible for confirming the legality of the app in its target region setting.

For apps that use VPNService, Google has long ago cracked down on ad-blocking apps in the Play Store, including those that use VPNService to provide ad-filtering servers. Now, the company says, only apps that use VPN services with VPNs as their core function can establish secure device-level tunnels to remote servers. But there are exceptions, including:

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  • Parental control and business management app.

  • App usage tracking.

  • Device security applications (eg, antivirus, mobile device management, firewall).

  • Network-related tools (eg, remote access).

  • Web browsing application.

  • Carrier applications that require the use of VPN functionality to provide telephony or connectivity services.

while the developerCan’tUse the VPN to do the following:

  • Collection of personal and sensitive user data without explicit notification and user consent.

  • Redirecting or manipulating user traffic from other applications on the device for monetization purposes (for example, by redirecting ad traffic through a different country than the user).

  • Manipulate ads that could affect your app’s monetization.

Finally, applications must now comply with FLAG_SECURE and must not facilitate or create methods to bypass FLAG_SECURE settings in other applications. FLAG_SECURE prevents certain content from being displayed on screenshots or untrusted displays, and accessibility-eligible apps are not required to meet this requirement, as long as they do not transmit, save, or stage FLAG_SECURE protected content for use on user devices External access is available.

Source: Google

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