Spyware & phishing

The user must have full knowledge that an app is installed and running on their device, especially if it is collecting personal information.

  • Apps that collect information (such as the user’s location or behavior) without the user’s knowledge and permission, or apps that cause users to unknowingly download or install apps from sources outside of Google Play are forbidden.
  • Malicious scripts, password phishing, and premium SMS scams are also prohibited on Google Play.

Surveillance and Tracking apps

In general, commercial spyware is prohibited on Google Play.

  • Products presented to users as a spying or secret surveillance solution are forbidden.
  • Apps that track user behavior may not hide, cloak or mislead device users as to this functionality.
  • Apps that track device user behavior must present users with a full-time persistent notification and icon that clearly identifies the app. (E.g., no usage of generic system-based icons like the Android Robot).
  • Apps (and their listings on Play) may not provide means to activate or access functionality which violates these terms.
  • You are solely responsible for determining the legality of your app in its targeted locale. Apps determined to be unlawful in locations where they are published will be removed.
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Google Play Apps Policy Center

Go back to the Google Play Apps Policy Center - the central resource for you to learn about Google Play apps policies and guidelines.