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Martin

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey guys n girls. Just wanted to share this new email I got from google today about the new policy program update. I've not checked all the details yet but its good if they are providing more details on how they judge games / apps on their store. I just hope it doesn't cause a ton of problems for us and other developers. 

Here's the email they sent to me today below.

Happy Developing [smile]
Martin

Hello Google Play Developer,

We’re excited to announce the launch of a redesigned Google Play Developer Policy Center, an online resource which strives to provide developers with greater transparency and insight into our program policies.

This redesign includes a new organizational structure for the Developer Program Policies, which are now grouped into six themes. We’ve also introduced detailed guidelines and visual examples to help you better understand the policies.

In our continuing effort to make Google Play the most trusted community for developers and consumers, we also took this opportunity to update a few policies in accordance with current practices. This email is to notify you of the latest changes to our policies, a few of which are highlighted below.

  • We’ve updated our Ads policy to prohibit inappropriate ads.
  • We’ve clarified our Ads policy to prohibit certain ad behaviors that interfere with device functionality.
  • We’ve introduced restrictions on apps that try to bypass system power management features under the Device and Network Abuse policy.
  • We’ve clarified our User Data policy to include a privacy policy requirement when collecting contact/phonebook data.

Any new apps or app updates published after this notification will be immediately subject to the latest version of the Developer Program Policy. If you find any existing apps in your catalog that don’t comply, we ask that you unpublish the app, or fix and republish the app within 30 calendar days of receiving this email. After this period, existing apps discovered to be in violation may be subject to warning or removal from Google Play.

Thanks for partnering with us to deliver the world’s most innovative and trusted apps to over a billion Google Play users. We’re always looking for feedback, so please take a minute to check out the new site and tell us what you think!

Thanks for supporting Google Play,

The Google Play Team

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bestgamesstudios

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Martin! Yes, I received this also - this seems to be aimed at removing dodgy/scammy apps - since I have a privacy policy link in all my apps + in the game, and do not collect personal user info, I think I'm in the clear
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Hello World v.2

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Reply with quote  #3 
If you look at the official youtube app etc. the private policy link is always placed in the settings tab, so i think a ugly prompt message is not a must have.

Also if you read on the new official policy site it says (I translated from german):

Quote:
If your app collects personal or confidential user data in a manner and transfers , which is not clearly described in the entry of the app on Google Play or in the user interface of the app...

 
Which means for me that as long as you put the link to a proper private policy you wont get in trouble.


Its not that im to lazy to update the apps with prompt messages, but i find them very ugly and sometimes users freaks out and tell you in a 1 star review that our app is an adware that wants to collect data from their device [biggrin]



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mmgames

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Reply with quote  #4 
So basically exit ads triggered by back button or even 'in game' exit button ads are no longer allowed?
It's real pain because i've seen this technique in a lot of games on gp :/


Regarding privacy stuff the question is: Is android device id ,advertising id or ip address sensitive, confidential data?
If not, then privacy policy is not neccessary?
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bestgamesstudios

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hey guys!

This part concerns me the most:
Quote:

  • We’ve clarified our User Data policy to include a privacy policy requirement when collecting contact/phonebook data.


my app has permisions to:
Quote:

  • read phone status and identity

My apps do have a privacy policy, which details the use of my plugins ( I don't collect any data) - I wonder if I'll be ok


EDIT: seems there are other permissions:


I do hope that I will be ok, as I have not included those

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skyezeno

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Reply with quote  #6 
@bestgamestudio, most users dont care about app permissions but the one's who care, will usually start screaming MALWARE. making others to freak out, cause it's quite strange for a game to require READ_CONTACTS permission.
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bestgamesstudios

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyezeno
@bestgamestudio, most users dont care about app permissions but the one's who care, will usually start screaming MALWARE. making others to freak out, cause it's quite strange for a game to require READ_CONTACTS permission.


oops, sorry - I meant, the above list which includes READ_CONTACTS are the ones which I think are affected by this policy thing - I only have 
Quote:

  • read phone status and identity


hopefully this'll mean I'm ok

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mmgames

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
If you find any existing apps in your catalog that don’t comply, we ask that you unpublish the app, or fix and republish the app within 30 calendar days of receiving this email. After this period, existing apps discovered to be in violation may be subject to warning or removal from Google Play


So we have approx. 30 day to fix non compliant apps? 
Or do we need to unpublish now and then fix?

I'm not sure if i understand this correctly.

Also, if, hypothetically speaking, i want to permit more ads categories in app, can i retake content rating questionnaire without any worries?
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mmgames

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Reply with quote  #9 
anyone? [confused]
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Roman

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Reply with quote  #10 
SO... If I understand this currectly... If I don't collect any personal data, I don't have to add privacy policy button to my games?
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Hello World v.2

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Reply with quote  #11 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
SO... If I understand this currectly... If I don't collect any personal data, I don't have to add privacy policy button to my games?


Most Ad Networks plugins collect personal data from the user (Device ID etc.)

BUT you dont have to have a Button in the app, its enought to have it on the Google playstore page. (Atleast that what i have read on an answer from an google rep.)

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Roman

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Reply with quote  #12 
Well... is device ID considered as a personal data? 

Anyways... Where could I find a sample of privacy polity, since indie developers are using same one.(I assume)

http://www.iubenda.com/blog/privacy-policy-for-android-app/
Sites like that aren't really free....

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bestgamesstudios

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman
Well... is device ID considered as a personal data? 

Anyways... Where could I find a sample of privacy polity, since indie developers are using same one.(I assume)

http://www.iubenda.com/blog/privacy-policy-for-android-app/
Sites like that aren't really free....


Hello Roman! After looking at privacy policies of various google play developers, I made mine:
http://yuriythebest.g0dsoft.com/bestgamesstudios/privacypolicy.html
(a privacy policy doesn't need to be really long/complex)
- I actually made it a very simple page, since it's just for compliance purposes for google-  I really doubt that any users will actually go and read it. 

this is speculation on my part, but I think device ID isn't personal data, and that personal data is stuff like Name/Surname, address, birthday, phone number, credit card info



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mmgames

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Reply with quote  #14 
I think the most important update is not this privacy policy thing, but this part:

We’ve updated our Ads policy to prohibit inappropriate ads:

The ads shown within your app must be appropriate for the intended audience of your app, even if the content by itself is otherwise compliant with our policies.


Doesn't it mean that developers need to retake/submit new content rating questionaire by 31th march?
I think it's not just about casino/mature ads..

Do you think devs can just retake content rating without sending another version/apk ?


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Roman

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Reply with quote  #15 
Bestgamesstudios, thank you for your privacy policy. Are you sure that this is enaugh? I also think that appid should not be considered as personal data. But you never know with Google... 

MMGames, you can take those questionaires anythime you want I think(without new apk). I fixed mine apps ratings a while ago and I didn't uploaded new apks.

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mmgames

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Reply with quote  #16 
Thanks for the response Roman [smile]

I would also link to Unity engine privacy policy from internal privacy policy:
http://unity3d.com/legal/privacy-policy

Check out section: Q: I play a game built with Unity software, what should I know?


They seem to collect quite a lot of device data :/



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