Policy announcement: July 12, 2023

New policies

  • To give developers more control over where their apps appear, we’re updating our Device and Network Abuse policy to state that all apps running On-device Android Containers, which simulate all or portions of the Android OS, must respect the new REQUIRE_SECURE_ENV flag. Apps can add this flag to their manifest to indicate they don't want to be run in an On-device Android Container.
  • We’re introducing the Blockchain-based content policy that states developers must complete a declaration for apps that enable users to transact blockchain-based digital content. Additional requirements apply for NFT gamification to promote user transparency and safety.
  • We’re adding new guidelines to our Deceptive Behavior policy to provide guidance on “non-transparent behavior.” Developers must make the app’s functionality clear to users. We’re also emphasizing that techniques to evade app reviews are not allowed. (effective August 1, 2023)
  • We’re introducing new requirements under our Personal Loans policy to state that personal loan apps operating in Thailand must provide documentation demonstrating their capacity to offer or assist with personal loans within the country.

Policy updates

  • To boost trust and transparency on Google Play, we’re updating our Play Console Requirements policy to expand what developer verification is required to publish apps. Developers must verify their account information to make their app available to users. If registering as an organization, developers must ensure their account information is up to date and consistent with the details stored on their Dun & Bradstreet profile. This update will roll out to new developer accounts first. Existing developers will receive more information in October
  • To keep Google Play safe and secure for users, we’re updating our Financial Services policy to mandate that any app containing financial features must submit the financial features declaration form, along with supplementary information and documentation.
  • We're updating the list of example APIs or SDKs that are not approved for use in apps that solely target children as part of our Families APIs and SDKs policy.
  • We’re updating the VPN policy to emphasize that VpnService cannot be used to engage in ad fraud.
  • We’re updating our Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests policy to reflect completion of the Online Crane Games pilot program in Japan. Beginning July 12, 2023, Online Crane Game apps may be listed on Google Play globally subject to applicable law and certain requirements, including a declaration form.

Additionally, we’ve added clarifications to some of our existing policies. Because this policy isn’t new or updated, our enforcement standards and practices for this policy remain the same.

  • We’re updating our SDK Requirements to include guidelines for a recently announced Deceptive Behavior policy update.
  • We’re centralizing existing ads requirements to make it easier for you to find this information.

Reminders

  • As of August 2, 2023, all new apps must use Play Billing Library version 5 or newer. By November 1, 2023, all updates to existing apps must use Play Billing Library version 5 or newer. Learn more
  • As of August 31, 2023, new apps and app update submissions must target API level 33 (Wear OS must target API 30). Existing apps must target API level 31 or newer to remain available to new users on devices running Android OS higher than your app's target API level. To save time and effort, you can use the new SDK Upgrade Assistant in Android Studio. You will also be able to request an extension to November 1, 2023 if you need more time to update your app. Learn more
  • The declaration form for apps that target Android 14 and above to declare foreground services (FGS) for appropriate use cases will now be available in October. You’ll have until January 31, 2024 to receive feedback and make adjustments. Learn more
  • We introduced a new account deletion requirement earlier this year. If your app allows users to create an account, then it must also allow users to request for their account to be deleted in the app and through a web resource. All developers must update their Data safety form in Play Console, where some information may be displayed on your app’s Data safety section on Google Play. You have until December 7, 2023 to comply. If you need more time, you can request an extension to May 31, 2024. Learn more and watch our RePlay video.

Please review these policy updates carefully in case any of your apps are impacted. To learn more about how to comply with these changes:

  • Read our blog about boosting trust and transparency on Google Play.

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