Families Self-Certified Ads SDK Program

Changes are coming to this policy!

Find a summary of the changes and a copy of the updated Developer Policy here

If you serve ads in your app, and the target audience for your app only includes children as described in the Families Policy, then you must use ad SDKs that have self-certified compliance with Google Play policies, including the Ad SDK certification requirements below. If the target audience for your app includes both children and older users, you must implement age screening measures and make sure that ads shown to children come exclusively from one of these self-certified ad SDKs. Apps in the Designed for Families program are required to only use self-certified ad SDKs.

The use of Google Play certified ad SDKs is only required if you are using ad SDKs to serve ads to children. The following are permitted without an ad SDK's self-certification with Google Play, however, you are still responsible for ensuring your ad content and data collection practices are compliant with Google Play's User Data Policy and Families Policy:

  • In-House Advertising whereby you use SDKs to manage cross promotion of your apps or other owned media and merchandising.
  • Entering into direct deals with advertisers whereby you use SDKs for inventory management.

Ad SDK Certification Requirements

  • Define what are objectionable ad content and behaviors and prohibit them in the ad SDK's terms or policies. The definitions  should comply with Google Play Developer Program Policies.
  • Create a method to rate your ad creatives according to age appropriate groups. Age appropriate groups must at least include groups for Everyone and Mature. The rating methodology must align with the methodology that Google supplies to SDKs once they have filled out the interest form below.
  • Allow publishers, on a per-request or per-app basis, to request child-directed treatment for ad serving. Such treatment must be in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, such as the US Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Google Play requires ad SDKs to disable personalized ads, interest based advertising, and remarketing as part of the child-directed treatment.
  • Allow publishers to select ad formats that are compliant with Google Play's Families Ads and Monetization policy, and meet the requirement of the Teacher Approved program
  • Ensure that when real-time bidding is used to serve ads to children, the creatives have been reviewed and privacy indicators are propagated to the bidders.
  • Provide Google with sufficient information, such as information indicated in the interest form below, to verify the ad SDK's compliance with all certification requirements, and respond in a timely manner to any subsequent requests for information, such as submitting new version releases to verify the ad SDK version’s compliance with all certification requirements.
  • Self-certify that each SDK version release is compliant with the latest Google Play Developer Program Policies.

Note: Ad SDKs must support ad serving that complies with all relevant statutes and regulations concerning children that may apply to their publishers.

Mediation requirements for serving platforms when serving ads to children:

  • Only use Google Play certified ad SDKs or implement safeguards necessary to ensure that all ads served from mediation comply with these requirements; and
  • Pass information necessary to mediation platforms to indicate the ad content rating and any applicable child-directed treatment.

Developers can find a list of self-certified ad SDKs here.

Also, developers can share this interest form with ad SDKs who wish to become self-certified.

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