Software principles

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The Google Ads policy on software principles will be updated on 15 October, 2012. The update prohibits illegal, misleading, deceptive, harmful or harassing user experiences in the software download space and improves user clarity and control in connection with downloaded software.

Here are some more details:

  • Upfront disclosure: Prior to installation or download, users must clearly understand the principal and significant functions of the software and the specific effects that the software will have on their computers.
  • Transparent installation: Users must be given a meaningful opportunity to review all proposed installation options and system changes when downloading software, and they must not be misled or deceived when approving such changes.
  • Simple removal: It must be easy for users to fully disable or delete an application.
  • Clear behavior: Applications that affect or change a computer's settings must make it clear what the changes are, that they are the reason for those change and how the user can undo those changes.
  • Respecting privacy: Applications must not collect or transmit any personally identifiable information from users without full, clear and accurate disclosure and consent.
  • Keeping good company: Application providers may not allow their products to be bundled with applications that don't meet these guidelines.

The change will affect all countries. This current enforcement change is driven by standard post-launch evaluation, user feedback and the natural evolution of the software download space. See a preview of the updated policy for software principles, which will replace the current policy on 15th October.
(Posted on 14 September, 2012)

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