September 7, 2022

Policy update

  • Effective September 28, 2022
    • We’re conducting a limited-time pilot enabling distribution of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Rummy apps to users in India by developers incorporated in India. Learn more

July 27, 2022

Upcoming new policies

  • Effective September 30, 2022
  • Effective November 1, 2022
    • We’re introducing new requirements for the FLAG_SECURE declaration under our Device and Network Abuse policy stating that all apps must respect the FLAG_SECURE declaration and must not facilitate or create workarounds to bypass the FLAG_SECURE settings in other apps.
    • We’re introducing new requirements under our Permissions policy to state that all apps must have acceptable core functionalities to use VpnService class. We’ve also added guidance on key requirements for using VpnService class.
  • Effective July 31, 2023
    • We’re introducing a new restricted permission requirement for Exact Alarm API, stating that apps must only declare this permission if their core functionality requires an exact alarm. Apps declaring the new restricted permission that do not meet these criteria will not be permitted on Google Play. 

Policy updates

  • Effective August 31, 2022
    • We’re updating health misinformation guidelines to state that we don’t allow apps containing misleading health claims that contradict existing medical consensus, or that can cause harm to users.
    • We’re updating our Impersonation policy to clarify that the policy prohibits impersonation of other entities or organizations.  We’ve also added some new examples regarding app titles and icons.
  • Effective September 30, 2022
    • We’re updating our Subscriptions policy to state that users must be able to easily cancel their subscriptions from within the app.
  • Effective November 1, 2022
  • Effective February 15, 2023
    • We’re updating our existing stalkerware guidance with a monitoring apps flag "IsMonitoringTool" for all legitimate monitoring applications. All apps that use this tool must also disclose monitoring or tracking functionality in their Google Play store description.

New examples and clarifications

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

  • We’re clarifying our Child Endangerment policy to reinforce that we prohibit the use of apps to endanger children, including the facilitation of child trafficking, grooming, and sextortion.
  • We’re clarifying our Families Data Practices policy to state that apps that solely target children must not transmit Android advertising identifier (AAID), SIM Serial, Build Serial, BSSID, MAC, SSID, IMEI, and/or IMSI. Apps that target both children and older audiences must not transmit AAID, SIM Serial, Build Serial, BSSID, MAC, SSID, IMEI, and/or IMSI from children or users of unknown age.
  • We’re consolidating health and medical-related policies into an easy-to-navigate page.
  • We’re clarifying our Ads policy to emphasize that ads and their associated offers served in your app must be consistent with your app's content rating.
  • We’re clarifying our Ads policy to state that the Ad ID may no longer be connected to a persistent identifier or personally-identifiable information for any purpose including analytics purposes.
  • We’re clarifying the Made For Ads guidelines under our Spam policy to prevent apps from displaying interstitial ads repeatedly to distract users from engaging with an app and performing in-app tasks.
  • We’re moving country-specific guidelines from our Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests policy page to a link on our Gambling Application Form for easier reference.
  • We’re clarifying our sensitive events definition and examples under the Inappropriate Content policy to state that we don’t allow apps that capitalize on or are insensitive toward a sensitive event with significant social, cultural, or political impact (for example, civil emergencies, natural disasters, public health emergencies, conflicts, deaths, or other tragic events).
  • We're clarifying Privacy Policy guidelines under our User Data policy to state that all apps must post a privacy policy link in the designated field within Play Console and a privacy policy link or text within the app itself. We’re also specifying that privacy policies must be publicly accessible and non-geofenced. Learn more about adding a privacy policy.


May 11, 2022

Upcoming new policy

  • Effective October 3, 2022:

Policy update

  • Effective October 3, 2022:
    • We’re updating the User Data policy to include Health Connect data as a type of personal and sensitive user data.

April 6, 2022

Upcoming new policies

  • Effective May 11, 2022:
    • We’re updating our Families policy to explain that if an app contains content that is not globally appropriate, we may make the app available only to users in regions where content within that app is deemed appropriate.
  • Effective July 11, 2022:
    • We're introducing a limited-time pilot for Online Crane Games to be distributed on the Google Play store to users in Japan only. Learn more.
  • Effective September 29, 2022
  • Effective November 1, 2022:
    • To provide users with a safe and secure experience, we are expanding on Google Play’s target API level requirements to include existing apps that aren’t updated. Apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android version release will not be available on Google Play to new users whose devices run the latest versions of Android. Developers can request a six-month extension if more time for migration is needed. Learn more

Policy updates

  • Effective May 11, 2022:
    • We're introducing additional requirements for developers offering personal loans in the Philippines. Eligible developers must complete a declaration form, submit necessary documentation, and meet additional disclosure requirements. We're also updating the declaration requirements for India and Indonesia to clarify that developers should submit additional documentation if their developer name does not match the name on the submitted license. Developers offering personal loans in India as facilitators must also prominently disclose the names of all partnered NBFCs and banks in the app’s description.
    • We’re updating the Hate Speech policy to prohibit caste- and immigration-related hate speech. 
    • We’re updating our Deceptive Behavior - Misleading Claims policy to allow certain apps that use embedded dedicated oximeter sensors (subject to further conditions) and require details about Oximeter readers and target devices in app descriptions. We continue to prohibit apps that claim to have oximeter functionality but do not have wearable, hardware or smartphone oximeter sensor support.
    • We’re updating our Families Certified Ad SDK Program policy to explain that providing sufficient information for Google Play to review an SDK may include submitting new versions and any other information needed to comply with certification requirements. We’re also updating the policies to clarify that SDKs are responsible for self-certifying that each SDK version release is compliant with the latest Play Developer Program Policies.
    • We’re updating our Accessibility policy to explain that the Accessibility API is not designed for and cannot be requested for remote call audio recording.

  • Effective September 14, 2022
    • We’re expanding the scope of the News policy to include apps that are listed under the “News & Magazine” category on Google Play, and that describe themselves as a news app in the app metadata. We're also updating the News policy to allow one method of listed contact information instead of two for news apps, and to allow original publishers to omit listing authors for every article. 
  • Effective October 11, 2022:

New examples and clarifications

Additionally, we’ve added new examples and clarifications to some of our policies. Please note that these aren’t new policies and we aren’t changing our enforcement standards and practices as a result of these updates.

  • We’re clarifying existing language in the Families policy to make it clear that apps that solely target children may not request location permission, or collect, use, and transmit precise location.


December 15, 2021

Policy update

  • Effective January 17, 2022:
    • We’re clarifying our Subscriptions policy to state that subscriptions must provide sustained or recurring value to users throughout the life of the subscription, and may not be used to offer what are effectively one-time benefits to users.

November 18, 2021

Policy update

  • Effective December 18, 2021:
    • We’re updating Google Play’s Payments Policy to respond to the new regulations in South Korea. Developers can now accept payments for in-app purchases from mobile and tablet users in South Korea with an alternative in-app billing system in addition to Google Play’s billing system. 

October 27, 2021

Policy updates

  • Effective December 1, 2021:
    • We’re updating the Inappropriate Content policy to prohibit apps published by or related to dangerous organizations and movements that are connected to violence against civilians.
    • We’re updating our Enforcement Process to include the ability to limit the regions in which your app is available to users through Google Play.
    • We’re updating our Sexual Content policy to explain that we may make an app available only to users in regions where the sexual content within that app is deemed appropriate.

Upcoming new policies

  • Effective February 2, 2022:
    • We're adding a hostile downloader section to our Mobile Unwanted Software Policy to prohibit "code that isn't in itself unwanted software, but downloads other mobile unwanted software (MUwS)."
  • Effective April 1, 2022:
    • We’re adding new specifications to our Families Policy Requirements for kids social apps and kids apps that have social features. These apps must provide in-app reminders on safely engaging with others online, features that require adult approval before turning on chat functionality that allow the user to share  personal information, and allow ongoing management of social features. In addition, apps where the main focus of the app is to chat with people they do not know must not target children.
  • Effective May 11, 2022:
    • We're adding an Android Emoji policy that requires apps running on Android 12 and above to comply with the latest version of Unicode approved emojis within 4 months of availability. The policy will also present developers with different compliance options.

New examples and clarifications

Additionally, we’ve added new examples and clarifications to some of our policies. Please note that these aren’t new policies and we aren’t changing our enforcement standards and practices as a result of these updates.

  • We’re clarifying our Families Ads and Monetization policy requirements to be clear that ALL monetization and advertising in apps that target children must comply with the policy.
  • We're clarifying our Subscriptions policy to more explicitly prohibit apps that subject users to deceptive or manipulative purchase experiences (including in-app purchases or subscriptions).
  • We’re changing the heading for the Data safety section, clarifying references to User Data, and providing a link to a help center article for additional guidance.


July 28, 2021:

Upcoming new policies

  • Effective September 1, 2021:
    • We're offering a developer preview of app set ID for essential use cases such as analytics or fraud prevention. App set ID cannot be used for ads personalization or ads measurement.
    • We’re adding new restrictions in our Families Policy Requirements on identifiers used in apps that target children. Developers need to comply by September 1, 2021 except for Ad ID changes. For Ad ID, developers have until April 1, 2022 to comply.
    • We’re adding a new section in our Enforcement policy to close inactive or abandoned developer accounts after 1 year of dormancy and additional factors.
  • Effective October 15, 2021: 
  • Effective October 28, 2021: 
    • We’re updating our User Data policy to prohibit linking persistent device identifiers to personal and sensitive user data or resettable device identifiers unless for pre-approved use cases.
  • Effective July 20, 2022: 
    • We’re adding a new Data Safety section to the User Data policy where developers must provide accurate information related to personal or sensitive user data their apps collect, use, or share. All apps must also post a privacy policy in the Google Play Console and within the app itself.

Policy updates

  • Effective September 1, 2021: 
    • We’re updating the Inappropriate Content policy to institute new restrictions on sexual content, specifically prohibiting compensated sexual relationships (i.e., sugar dating). 
  • Effective September 15, 2021: 
    • We’re updating the Financial Services policy to clarify the definition of the total cost of the loan and require all personal loan apps be properly tagged under the Finance category. We are also adding new requirements for personal loan apps in India and Indonesia. 
  • Effective September 29, 2021: 
  • Effective October 4, 2021: 
    • We’re updating our Ads policy to indicate changes in the usage of Android advertising ID. When a user deletes the Android advertising ID on a newer device, the advertising identifier will be removed and replaced with a string of zeros. 

New examples and clarifications

Additionally, we’ve added new examples and clarifications to some of our policies. Please note that these aren’t new policies and we aren’t changing our enforcement standards and practices as a result of these updates.

  • We’re updating our App Promotion policy with additional examples of prohibited ads/promotional tactics for encouraging app downloads.
  • We’re clarifying and consolidating guidance on providing required app information, such as login credentials for apps with login walls, to us through Play Console. 
  • We’re adding a link to an updated help center article which will provide further policy clarifications for news apps.


March 31, 2021:

Policy updates and clarifications

  • We're updating the All Files Access Permission policy for apps that target Android 11+ and need to access external storage so that users have more access control over their device storage.
  • We're adding regional updates for Real-Money Gambling countries, and are adding clarifications to the Gamified Loyalty program policy requirements.
  • We’re updating the Sexual Content and Profanity policy with additional examples of prohibited apps.

Additionally, we’ve added new clarifications and examples to some of our policies. Please note that these aren’t new policies and we aren’t changing our enforcement standards and practices as a result of these updates. 

  • We’re updating the Families Policy Requirements with additional clarity on app functionality. 
  • We’re clarifying the News policy as it relates to user-generated content apps, contact information, and use of advertising.
  • We’re reiterating our definition of Malware and clarifying the definition of stalkerware. 
  • We’ve clarified an example of common violations in the Misleading Claims policy.
  • We’ve added a Help Center link to our Payments policy that contains additional information about Google Play’s billing system and answers to frequently asked questions about the Payments policy.
  • We’ve clarified the Personal and Sensitive Information policy.
  • We've clarified requirements for COVID-19 status apps.
  • We’ve added an example of a common ads violation to the Families Ads and Monetization policy.

Upcoming new policy

  • The new Package Visibility policy introduces an approval process for the new QUERY_ALL_PACKAGES permission which controls access to the inventory of installed apps on a device. Developers will have 60 days to comply with changes.
January 28, 2021:

We’re updating our Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests policy so more developers around the world can build sustainable businesses, and in a way that helps keep consumers safe. Here's a summary of all the changes:

  • We’re expanding the number of countries in which developers can publish licensed real money gambling apps to include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States (in addition to the existing permitted countries: Brazil, Ireland, France, and the United Kingdom).
  • We’re introducing new requirements for gamified loyalty programs.
  • We’re also updating various portions of the policy with additional examples to provide further clarification.
November 11, 2020
  • We’re adding information regarding the acceptable use of SMS and Call log data for business CRM apps and default handlers. If you want to make changes to your apps in accordance with these revised guidelines, you can do so starting today. [Current policyUpcoming policy - effective December 16, 2020]
  • We’re updating our Policy Coverage section with additional clarity on apps that may pose a high risk of abuse. [Current policyUpcoming policy - effective December 16, 2020]
  • We're updating our User Data policy to align with changes to the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement to reflect our reliance on standard contractual clauses to transfer personal data from the European Economic Area or the UK to the U.S. as of July 2020. [Current policy | Upcoming policy - effective December 16, 2020]
Additionally, we’ve added new clarifications and examples to some of our policies. 

As a reminder, if your app accesses location in the background, you can now submit your app for feedback by completing the Location permissions declaration form in the Play Console.

September 28, 2020:

We’re updating our Payments policy to clarify when Google Play’s billing system should be used for in-app purchases. This clarification is important to increase user protections across Play-distributed apps and makes the policy easier to understand. 

Any existing app that is currently using an alternative billing system will need to remove it to comply with this update. For those apps, we are offering an extended grace period until September 30, 2021 to make any required changes. New apps submitted after January 20, 2021 will need to be in compliance. To view additional information about this update, please visit our Help Center.


September 16, 2020: 

  • Effective Date: October 21, 2020. We’re updating our Misrepresentation policy to clarify that developers and apps taking part in coordinated activity that misrepresents or conceals the origin of an app or content are a violation of Google Play policy.  
  • Effective Date: October 21, 2020. We’re updating our Gambling Apps policy to allow a government-published real money gambling app in Brazil. 

In addition, we’re correcting a typo in our Stalkerware policy. All apps will have until October 1, 2020 to comply with this correction. 


July 8, 2020:

We’ve introduced new policies and policy updates that need your attention. All new and existing apps will receive a grace period of at least 30 days from the issuance of this notification (unless otherwise stated) to comply with these changes. Here’s a summary of all the changes:

  • We've introduced new requirements for apps requesting broad access to device storage, including an appropriate access and declaration review process for R-targeted apps.
  • We’ve launched a News policy to highlight requirements for News Apps published on Google Play. Visit the help center for more detailed information on this policy and future developer requirements. 
  • We’ve updated our User-generated Content (UGC) policy to require in-app reporting of AR anchoring on sensitive locations. 
  • We’ve updated our Families Ads and Monetization policy to clarify prohibited spammy and manipulative ads and monetization practices. 

We’ve also updated several policies (including Inappropriate Content, Gambling, Mobile Unwanted Software, and Ad Fraud including impression fraud) with clearer language and additional examples. Please note that these aren’t new policies and we aren’t changing our enforcement standards and practices as a result of these updates. You can review these changes here. We encourage you to review these policy updates carefully in case any of your apps are impacted.


April 2020: 

Enforcement timelines Any new apps or app updates published after April 16, 2020 will immediately be subject to the latest version of the Developer Program Policies. Apps available on Google Play as of April 16, 2020 will have 30 days from this date to come into compliance to prevent removal, unless otherwise noted.

Various updates as outlined below:

  • We've updated our Deceptive Behavior policies to emphasize functionally deceptive apps and our requirement to provide accurate disclosures and metadata.
  • We've updated our Malicious Behavior policies to introduce a user notification requirement prior to apps beginning large resource file downloads.
  • We've introduced a Manipulated Media policy for apps that spread or created altered media.
  • We've updated our Malware policy. Visit the Google Play Protect site for additional information about enforcement and reporting malware.
  • We've updated our Subscriptions policy to ensure transparent communication of subscription offers and responsible implementation of monetization tools and services.
    • Any new apps or app updates published after this notification will immediately be subject to the latest version of the Developer Program Policies. Apps currently on Google Play will have 60 days to come into compliance
  • We've rebranded the Ad Network Certification program to Families Ads Program.
  • We've updated our Families policy to include disclosure of collection of personal and sensitive information from children.
  • We've updated our Families policy to provide further clarification on Bluetooth use.
  • We've updated our Families Ads and Monetization policy to prohibit spammy and manipulative ads and monetization practices.
  • We've updated our Location policy to promote transparency and limit access to location data especially in the background.
    • Because compliance with this Location policy may require substantial changes to your app, affected developers will have an extended timeline to make any necessary updates. To view timelines and other updates, please visit our Help Center.


November 2019: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We've clarified our Misleading Claims policy to highlight the prohibition of any disinformation or deception around medical, health-related and government services apps.
  • We've updated our Metadata policy to ensure developers create better descriptions and titles that accurately represent their app.
  • We've updated our Ad Network Certification policy to provide further clarification on ad SDK requirements.
  • We've updated our  Monetization and Ads policy on in-app virtual currencies.
  • We've updated our Spam and Minimum Functionality policies to set higher quality standards for applications on Google Play.


August 2019: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We've updated our Device and Network Abuse policy with an additional example addressing apps that facilitate proxy services to third parties.
  • We've expanded our Financial Services policy to protect users from deceptive and exploitative personal loan terms.
  • We've clarified our Misleading Claims policy with an additional example regarding demonstrably deceptive content that may interfere with voting processes.


May 2019: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We've introduced a new Families policy and updated our Designed for Families program policy.
  • We've introduced a new Ad Network Certification policy for apps that serve ads to children.
  • We've updated our Inappropriate Content policies to clarify our existing Sexual Content and Hate Speech policies and introduce new policies on Marijuana, Tobacco and Alcohol.
  • We've updated our Payments policy to introduce a requirement to disclose odds for lootboxes.
  • We have updated our Gambling policy with additional examples.
  • We've clarified our User Generated Content policy to explicitly prohibit monetization features that encourage objectionable behavior by users.
  • We've updated our Minimum Functionality policy to ensure that apps on our platform are designed in a stable, engaging, and responsive way that satisfies all functionality requirements.
  • We've updated our Intellectual Property policy to make clear the prohibition of the sale or promotion for sale of counterfeit goods within an app.


January 2019: Various updates as outlined below:


October 2018: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We've clarified our Malicious Behavior policy prohibiting surveillance and commercial spyware apps.
  • We've clarified our Design for Families program requirements and Primarily Child-Directed Declaration guidelines to prohibit misrepresentation of the participating apps and their target age group.
  • We've updated our User Data and Permissions policies for more clarity and coverage; including to restrict Call Log and SMS permission usage.
  • We are also removing user information available on the Contacts Provider; to learn more click here.
  • We've updated our Enforcement section to explain the extent of our policy coverage, including the actions that we may take on apps that violate our policies.


July 2018: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We've clarified our Child Endangerment policy to emphasize the prohibition of adult themes in apps that appeal to children.
  • We’ve introduced a new policy that prohibits any sale of Dangerous Products, including firearms, explosives, etc. Our Violence policy has also been updated accordingly.
  • We've introduced a new policy on Cryptocurrency mining in our Financial Instruments section.
  • We've clarified our Spam policies to explicitly prohibit repetitive content on our platform. We also don’t allow apps whose primary purpose is to serve ads.
  • We've introduced a new policy on misrepresentation in our Privacy, Security, and Deception policy section.


April 2018: Various updates as outlined below:


November 2017: Various updates as outlined below:


October 2017: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We’ve more clearly defined the geographical restrictions for our gambling policy.
  • We’ve provided clarity on baseline functionality that must be present for apps on Google Play.
  • We’ve identified certain guide app behavior that will preclude publication on Google Play.
  • We’ve taken additional steps to protect users by limiting how and when developers can make permission requests.


August 2017: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We’ve introduced new policies on gambling apps, which are currently permitted only in the UK, Ireland, and France.
  • We’ve clarified our User Data policy to provide detailed guidance on prominent disclosure.
  • We’re now hosting Android Instant Apps policies in a new category dedicated to other Android programs.
  • We’re now hosting content rating guidelines under our Store Listing and Promotion category.


June 2017: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We have introduced new guidelines on data protection as required by the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.


May 2017: Various updates as outlined below:


April 2017: Various updates as outlined below:

  • We’ve clarified the program requirements for Designed for Families and added eligibility criteria for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality apps.
  • We’ve introduced a Child-Directed Declaration policy that requires developers to declare whether their app is primarily child-directed in the Play Console.


October 2016: Updated the example section in the Metadata policy for clarity.


July 2016: Various updates as outlined below:

  • Addition of a Google Play Families Program Policy tile to the Policy Center.
  • We’ve clarified our Privacy and Security policies to help developers better determine when privacy disclosure is required, and where such disclosure should be available to users.
  • We've updated our Restricted Content policies to further clarify our stance on sexually explicit services.
  • We’ve updated our gambling ad policies to share the requirements a developer must adhere to when displaying gambling ads in Play.
  • We’re introducing a User Generated Content policy that outlines minimum safety feature requirements.
  • We’ve added examples to both the Deceptive Behavior and Violence policies, to clarify disallowed behavior or content.


May 2016: Updated the Payments section with information about Android Pay.


March 2016: Various updates as outlined below:

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