Requirements for apps that communicate government information

We have recently clarified our Misleading Claims Policy on communicating government information. Google Play wants to help you ensure that if your app communicates government information, it does so transparently and empowers users with reliable and clearly sourced civic information. 

Note: This article is not meant to replace the actual policy language, but rather is provided to assist your review of the policy language.

Changes to our Misleading Claims Policy

To promote transparency about the source(s) of government information communicated through apps on the Google Play Store we have clarified our Misleading Claims Policy on communicating government information.

We don’t allow apps that contain false or misleading information or claims, including in the app description, title, icon, and screenshots. This includes apps that falsely claim affiliation with a government entity or offer to provide or facilitate government services for which they are not properly authorized.

Unaffiliated apps that communicate government information

Apps that communicate government information but are not affiliated with a government entity must be transparent about the source(s) of this information by:

  • Clearly conveying the source(s) to users in the app description, and
  • Making clear that the app does not represent a government or political entity.

The source you provide should allow users to easily verify the information found in your app, like a top-level government organization domain. For example, if your app communicates information relating to US-based government organizations, the source information might have a URL or other contact information registered to a .gov domain (posted by the United States government) so users can easily verify the accuracy of the information communicated. Likewise, if an app communicates similar information relating to the Japanese government or a Japanese government agency, the source information might have a URL registered to a .go.jp domain.

Government-affiliated apps

Governments are encouraged to use official government email addresses to create developer accounts and provide a list of approved apps and/or provide authorized developers with documentation that confirms their ability to make apps on the government’s behalf. We will work with government agencies to verify the legitimacy of the affiliated app.

Third-party apps that are officially authorized to facilitate a government process such as voting or ID validation may be required to provide proof of permission prior to approval. This documentation must be submitted by the relevant government or government entity.

Government entities can provide proof of permission by submitting written documentation, which includes the relevant government contact information for validation. Learn about providing advance notice to the Google Play App Review team.

Related content

  • Watch PolicyBytes to understand the November 2019 Policy Updates and see some examples and best practices.
  • Visit Google Play’s Academy for App Success to get contextual learning on Google Play policy.
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