Deceptive Behavior

We don't allow apps that attempt to deceive users or enable dishonest behavior including but not limited to apps which are determined to be functionally impossible. Apps must provide an accurate disclosure, description and images/video of their functionality in all parts of the metadata and should perform as reasonably expected by the user. Apps must not attempt to mimic functionality or warnings from the operating system or other apps. Any changes to device settings must be made with the user's knowledge and consent and be easily reversible by the user.

 

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Misleading Claims

We don’t allow apps that contain false or misleading information or claims, including in the description, title, icon, and screenshots.
Examples of common violations
  • Apps that misrepresent or do not accurately and clearly describe their functionality:
    • An app that claims to be a racing game in its description and screenshots, but is actually a puzzle block game using a picture of a car.
    • An app that claims to be an antivirus app, but only contains a text guide explaining how to remove viruses.
  • Developer or app names that misrepresent their current status or performance on Play. (E.g. “Editor’s Choice,” “Number 1 App,” “Top Paid”).
  • Apps that feature medical or health-related content or functionalities that are misleading or potentially harmful.
  • Apps that claim functionalities that are not possible to implement.
  • Apps that are improperly categorized.
  • Demonstrably deceptive content that may interfere with voting processes.
  • Apps that falsely claim affiliation with a government entity or to provide or facilitate government services for which they are not properly authorized.

 

Unauthorized Use or Imitation of System Functionality

We don’t allow apps or ads that mimic or interfere with system functionality, such as notifications or warnings. System level notifications may only be used for an app’s integral features, such as an airline app that notifies users of special deals, or a game that notifies users of in-game promotions.
Examples of common violations
  • Apps or ads that are delivered through a system notification or alert:

    ① The system notification shown in this app is being used to serve an ad.

 

For additional examples involving ads, please refer to the Ads policy.

 

 

Deceptive Device Settings Changes

We don’t allow apps that make changes to the user’s device settings or features outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent. Device settings and features include system and browser settings, bookmarks, shortcuts, icons, widgets, and the presentation of apps on the homescreen.

Additionally, we do not allow:

  • Apps that modify device settings or features with the user’s consent but do so in a way that is not easily reversible.
  • Apps or ads that modify device settings or features as a service to third parties or for advertising purposes.
  • Apps that mislead users into removing or disabling third-party apps or modifying device settings or features.
  • Apps that encourage or incentivize users into removing or disabling third-party apps or modifying device settings or features unless it is part of a verifiable security service.

 

Enabling Dishonest Behavior

We don't allow apps that help users to mislead others or are functionally deceptive in any way, including, but not limited to: apps that generate or facilitate the generation of ID cards, social security numbers, passports, diplomas, credit cards and driver's licenses. Apps must provide accurate disclosures, titles, descriptions and images/video regarding the app's functionality and/or content and should perform as reasonably and accurately expected by the user.

Any claim that an app is a "prank", "for entertainment purposes" (or other synonym) does not exempt an app from application of our policies.

 

Manipulated Media

We don't allow apps that promote or help create false or misleading information or claims conveyed through imagery, videos and/or text. We disallow apps determined to promote or perpetuate demonstrably misleading or deceptive imagery, videos and/or text, which may cause harm pertaining to a sensitive event, politics, social issues, or other matters of public concern.

Apps that manipulate or alter media, beyond conventional and editorially acceptable adjustments for clarity or quality, must prominently disclose or watermark altered media when it may not be clear to the average person that the media has been altered. Exceptions may be provided for public interest or obvious satire or parody.

Examples of common violations
  • Apps adding a public figure to a demonstration during a politically sensitive event.
  • Apps using public figures or media from a sensitive event to advertise media altering capability within an app's store listing.
  • Apps that alter media clips to mimic a news broadcast.
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