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Google publicizes new Play Retailer insurance policies round intrusive advertisements, impersonation and extra – TechCrunch


Google introduced new Play Store policies for builders on Wednesday that goal to handle points with intrusive advertisements, alarms, VPNs, and impersonation of manufacturers and different apps. The corporate stated these insurance policies will go into impact throughout totally different timeframes so builders have ample time to make modifications to their apps.

The search large is aiming to enhance consumer safety and app experiences by these insurance policies, it says.

Right here’s a listing of what Google introduced and when these insurance policies will kick in:

Higher advert experiences (September 30, 2022): In-game advertisements could be annoying and Google desires to enhance on that. This coverage will prohibit any full-screen advertisements that aren’t closable after 15 seconds. Choose-in advertisements, like an advert to observe a recreation rewards, can exceed these closing dates.

The corporate is prohibiting full-screen interstitial advertisements that seem earlier than the app’s loading display, if you begin a degree, or in the course of the gameplay, too.

Instance of an surprising advert showing throughout gameplay Picture Credit: Google

Impersonation (August 31, 2022): To weed out copycat apps, Google is cracking down on unauthorized apps that suggest an affiliation with governments, firms, and companies. As an example, apps can’t use nationwide emblems and authorities organizations to make folks suppose it’s an official app. Equally, builders can’t use icons to point out they’re formally affiliated with an organization, artist, or TV present after they’re not approved to take action.

Picture Credit: Google

Well being misinformation (August 31, 2022): The corporate is banning apps that argue towards the extensively accepted medical consensus or offers out well being recommendation that may hurt customers. It cited examples of apps advocating unapproved therapies, injurious practices like dialog remedy, and vaccine misinformation that could possibly be faraway from the Play Retailer.

Flag safe necessities (August 31, 2022): The FLAG_SECURE is a toggle for builders who need to keep away from content material on the display being recorded by screenshots. For those who attempt to take one you’ll simply see a black display. That is widespread amongst streaming apps. So different apps, with exception of accessibility instruments like display readers, are prohibited to bypass this flag in any manner and try to report content material on the display.

VPN Service (August 31, 2022): The corporate is prohibiting apps from utilizing Android’s VPN providers for monitoring consumer information or rerouting consumer visitors to earn cash by advertisements. Core VPN apps received’t be affected, however as app researcher Mishaal Rahman famous, it would have an effect on monitoring blockers like DuckDuckGo’s App Monitoring Safety. (We’ve requested DuckDuckGo for a remark.)

Actual alarm permissions (July 31, 2023): Android offers APIs for timer and alarm apps to set off alarms at precise instances. Nonetheless, if different apps are utilizing these permissions, this could disturb the telephone’s low energy modes when it’s not crucial and have an effect on the battery. The stricter enforcement round precise alarm permissions goals to assist enhance the machine’s battery life.

The corporate additionally introduced policy changes for advertisements concentrating on kids and stalkerware to extend security for apps utilized by children, efficient Nov. 1, 2022. Google says if an app solely targeting kids serves advertisements, then it should solely use advertisements SDKs which have self-certified compliance with Google Play insurance policies.

The brand new coverage modifications come days after Google enforced its coverage of declaring safety labels for apps on July 20. The corporate will hope that these new insurance policies will weed out video games and apps with intrusive advertisements, misinformation, and privacy-violating permissions.

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