Requirements for apps that communicate government information

If your app communicates government information, Google Play wants to make sure that it’s easy for users to see and understand. The goal is an app that empowers users with reliable and clearly sourced government information, relayed transparently.

To help achieve this, we clarified our Misleading Claims policy on communicating government information and describe the changes in our November 2019 PolicyBytes update. Watch the video from the 1:00 to 2:26 minute mark. 

Overview of our Misleading Claims policy

This article isn’t a substitute for the Misleading Claims policy. Read the whole policy to make sure that you understand and comply with its contents.

Google doesn't allow apps that contain false or misleading information or claims, including in the app description, title, icon, or screenshots. These include apps that falsely claim affiliation with a government entity or offer, or facilitate government services without proper authorization.

This article provides an overview of steps you can take to comply with our policy and what you need to do to submit your app.

Steps to resolve common issues

Here, you’ll find guidance on how to address the most common issues that developers face. Follow these tips and make sure your app is in compliance with the Misleading Claims policy.

How to address requirements for government-affiliated apps

Governments are encouraged to use official government email addresses to create developer accounts and to give authorized developers documentation that confirms their ability to create apps for the government. We work with government agencies to verify the legitimacy of these affiliated apps.

If your app has been authorized to facilitate a government process (such as voting or ID validation), Google may ask you to provide proof of that permission before approving your app. This documentation must be submitted by the relevant government or government entity.

How to address requirements for unaffiliated apps that communicate government information

If your app isn’t affiliated with a government entity but communicates government information, it must be transparent about the sources of this information. Follow both of these steps:

  • Include easy-to-see information sources in your app’s description and store listing page.
  • Make it clear that the app doesn’t represent a government or political entity.

Sources that you provide should let users easily verify the information found in your app. Here are two examples that show how to treat this information:

  1. If your app communicates information relating to US-based government organizations, look for a URL or other contact information registered to a .gov domain (posted by the United States government), and include it in your source information to help users easily verify the accuracy of the information. 
  2. Similarly, if an app communicates information relating to the Japanese government or a Japanese government agency, you might include a URL registered to a domain.

How to address privacy policy requirements and how your app manages user data

To ensure a safe and trusted environment for users, your privacy policy must disclose how your app handles user data and how it limits the use of that data to the purposes disclosed. For more details, read our privacy policy requirements. Make sure your privacy policy is easy to find — both in your app and on the store listing page. Follow these guidelines when creating or updating your privacy policy:

  1. In your privacy policy, explain how your app accesses, collects, uses, and shares user data.
  2. Indicate how the app limits that data’s use to the purposes detailed in your privacy policy. 
  3. Your privacy policy must be available via an active, publicly accessible, and non-geofenced URL (PDF or doc links aren’t accepted). Make sure that your policy is non-editable.
  4. Provide clear links to your privacy policy on your app’s store listing page and in your app. 
  5. Apps that do not access any personal and sensitive user data must still submit a privacy policy.

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