Permission requests are evaluated during the release process after adding your Android App Bundle. If your app requests the use of high-risk or sensitive permissions (for example, SMS or Call Log), you may be required to complete the Permissions Declaration Form and receive approval from Google Play.
About the process
The Permissions Declaration Form is displayed during the release process if the app includes an app bundle that requests permissions for which a Permissions Declaration has not been provided to Google Play.
If you have an active app bundle that requires a Permissions Declaration, including releases on the Open, Closed, or Internal test tracks, an alert is displayed on the left menu under App Content. You cannot publish any changes to your app, including changes to your Store Presence (for example, Store Listing, Pricing, and Distribution) until you address this alert by creating a release that includes a Permissions Declaration or removes the permissions.
Consider deactivating any Open, Closed, or Internal testing tracks that are not currently in use if they are not compliant with this policy.
Complete the Permissions Declaration Form
Step 1: Evaluate requested permissions
If applicable, you will find a history of previously declared permissions, as well as newly requested permissions in an expandable list under the "Permissions Declaration Form" section of the App content page.
Permissions with a checkmark have been declared in previous releases.
- Permissions with an alert are newly added. These permission requests will be included in your declaration form for review by the Google Play team and evaluated against the published guidelines.
Step 2: Specify your app's core functionality
You must specify your app's core functionality from the list of supported use cases. Select all checkboxes that apply to your app's core functionality.
Step 3: Provide instructions for app review
Step 4: Provide a video demonstration of your app
You must provide a video demonstration so the Google Play review team can easily evaluate your app's core functionality.
Supported video formats: YouTube link (preferred), cloud storage link to an mp4 or other common video file format
Step 5: Provide instructions for accessing restricted app content
If your app's core functionality is restricted to signed-in users, you must provide instructions to access that restricted content. The Google Play review team will use these instructions to evaluate the restricted functionality.
If your app requires sign in, select All or some functionality is restricted and provide a valid test username or phone number, password, and any other instructions necessary for accessing the restricted app content.
Step 6: (Multi-APK only) Request an exception for old APKs
You can file an exception in circumstances where your multi-APK configuration uses old APKs that you can no longer make code changes to. Consult the requirements for this exception before proceeding. Consult the requirements for this exception before proceeding–reference the Use of SMS or Call Log permission groups and Requesting access to location in the background articles for more information.
Any APKs that don't meet the requirements must be deactivated to be compliant with the Permissions policy.
Step 7: Confirm your declaration
Select the corresponding checkboxes to confirm that the details of your declaration are accurate and that you agree to the terms of the appropriate use of the declared permissions.
Prepare and roll out your release
When you complete the Permissions Declaration Form and roll out your release, your app will be subject to an extended review by the Google Play team. Your request may require up to several weeks to process. During this time, your new app or app update will be in a pending publication status until your request is reviewed. Your app will also be subject to the standard compliance review against Google Play's Developer Program Policies.
If your app is not compliant with the Permissions policy, the Google Play team will send an email with the results of the review to the Account Owner and Contact email address on your developer account. If your request is approved and your app is compliant with the Developer Program policies, your new app or update will automatically be published to Google Play.
If you roll out a release using the Google Play Developer Publishing API and Google Play has not previously approved your app bundle use of high-risk or sensitive permissions, you will receive an error.
To continue managing releases using the Publishing API, you must either remove any high-risk or sensitive permission requests from your app and create a new release with the revised app bundle. You can also prepare and roll out your release using the Play Console web UI by following these steps:
Upload your app bundle with high-risk or sensitive permissions requested
Complete the Permissions Declaration Form as above
Complete the rollout of the release using the Play Console web UI
Once your Permission Declaration has been approved and your app has been approved for policy compliance, your release will be published and you can once again use the Publishing API to manage your releases. Otherwise, the Google Play team will notify you if your Permissions Declaration request has been rejected and provide any additional information.
Note: Whenever your app requests any new permissions, you will be required to use the UI to complete a revised Permissions Declaration Form specifically addressing the newly requested permissions.
- Learn more about Play Console permissions in Play Academy.