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Privacy strategies for Android

Prepare your app for Google Play and Android changes

Google Play and Android recently announced several new policy updates and technical changes. Review the following recommendations to ensure your app stays up to date and in compliance. 

Keep your Google Mobile Ads (GMA) SDK up to date

Note: Google Play will require advertising ID permission declaration when your apps are able to target Android 13, instead of starting with Android 12 as previously announced. 

Apps updating their target to Android 13 will need to declare a Google Play services normal permission in the Android manifest file in order to use the advertising ID. For apps that do not declare this permission and target Android 13, the advertising ID will automatically be removed and replaced with a string of zeros. 

You can update your app to GMA SDK 20.4.0+ , which will automatically have the permission declared. If you’re using GMA SDK 20.4.0+ , no further action is required to continue using the advertising ID. 

To learn more about the new permission, including how to disable it, refer to the Play Console Help Center.

About SDK instance ID

With the latest versions of the GMA SDK, a rotating SDK instance ID is automatically generated for each app to ensure effective delivery, display, and integrity of ads. SDK Instance ID is unique for your apps and helps maximize your apps' ad performance.

About publisher first-party ID, formerly known as same app key

Version 21.4.0 of the GMA SDK introduced publisher first-party ID (formerly known as same app key), an encrypted identifier assigned to a unique user within your apps. Publisher first-party ID helps you deliver more relevant and personalized ads by using data collected from your apps. Publisher first-party ID cannot be used to link user activity from your apps to third-party apps.

Publisher first-party ID is enabled by default, but you can always choose to disable it in your SDK.

Your app users are able to opt-out of ads personalization based on publisher first-party ID through in-ad controls. Ads personalization using publisher first-party ID respects existing privacy settings, including NPA, RDP, and TFCD/TFUA.

Provide information for Google Play's Data safety section

In May 2021, Google Play announced the new Data safety section, a developer-provided disclosure of apps' user data collection, sharing, and security practices. 

You are required to tell Google Play about your apps' privacy and security practices by completing a form in Play Console. This information will be shown on your store listing to help Google Play users understand how you collect and share user data before they download your app.

Learn more about Google Play’s Data safety section and how to prepare for Google Play's data disclosure requirements.

Review updates to the Google Play Families policy

Google Play announced updates to the Families Policy Requirements. If one of the target audiences for your app is children, your app must not transmit certain identifiers (including the advertising ID) for children or users of unknown age.

If your app has a target audience that includes children, we recommend updating to Android 20.6.0 GMA SDK or later. 

This SDK update ensures that the advertising ID is not transmitted when an ad request is tagged for child-directed treatment through tagForChildDirected (TFCD) or tagForUnderAgeOfConsent (TFUA).

If your app has a mixed audience, you may need to implement a neutral age screen in order to differentiate between children and adults.

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