Families Self-Certified Ads SDK Program

Google Play Families Self-Certified Ads SDK Program will accept new applicants until October 31, 2024, after which the application window will close. The application window will reopen in 2025, and guidelines will be announced here at a later date. 

Current participants and their program compliance requirements will remain unchanged.

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 only use ads SDK versions that have self-certified compliance with Google Play policies, including the Families Self-Certified Ads SDK requirements below.

If the target audience for your app includes both children and older users, you must make sure that ads shown to children come exclusively from one of these self-certified ads SDK versions (for example, through use of neutral age screening measures).

Note that it is your responsibility to ensure that all SDK versions you implement in your app, including Self-Certified Ads SDK versions, are compliant with all applicable policies, local laws, and regulations. Google does not provide any representations or guarantees as to the accuracy of the information the ads SDKs provide during the self-certification process.

The use of Families self-certified ads SDKs is only required if you are using ads SDKs to serve ads to children. The following are permitted without an ads 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.

Families Self-Certified Ads SDK Requirements

  • Define what are objectionable ad content and behaviors and prohibit them in the ads 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 ads 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 submitting a test app and the information indicated in the interest form below, to verify the ads SDK's policy compliance with all self-certification requirements, respond in a timely manner to any subsequent requests for information, such as submitting new version releases to verify the ads SDK version’s compliance with all self-certification requirements.
  • Self-certify that all new version releases are compliant with the latest Google Play Developer Program Policies, including Families Policy Requirements.

Note: Families Self-Certified Ads SDKs must support ad serving that complies with all relevant statutes and regulations concerning children that may apply to their publishers.

More information on watermarking ad creatives and providing a test app can be found here.

Here are mediation requirements for serving platforms when serving ads to children:

  • Only use Families Self-Certified Ads 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 Families Self-Certified Ads SDKs and can check which specific versions of those ads SDKs are self-certified for use in Families apps here.

Also, developers can share this interest form with ads SDKs who wish to self-certify.

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