Google Play requests that app developers give accurate user data and bans “sugar daddy” apps

Google Play placed apps on notice with new security enhancements and transparency of personal data usage in a recent policy update. According to a recent modification to the Device and Network Abuses policy, apps or SDKs written in interpreted languages such as JavaScript, Python, or Lua are prohibited from infringing any Google Play standards. From October 15, 2021, the policy will be in effect.

“An app distributed via Google Play may not modify, replace, or update itself via any manner other than Google Play’s update mechanism,” according to the Device and Network Abuse.

Furthermore, the policy forbids programs from obtaining executable code from anywhere other than Google Play. This prohibition does not apply to code running in a virtual machine with restricted access to Android APIs.

Aside from that, an app can’t get executable files from anywhere other than Google Play. This prohibition, however, will not apply to programs that run code in a virtual machine, such as Javascript in a web view or browser.

The User Data Policy has been updated and will go into effect on April 1, 2021. This new feature requires app developers to disclose correct information about personal or sensitive user data that the app collects and uses. It also mandates that all apps include a privacy policy in the app and the Google Play interface.

The existing User Data policy mandates that apps share user data with Google, but it makes no mention of accuracy.

The Inappropriate Content Policy has been modified to add new limitations prohibiting apps that include compensated sexual connections. With effect from September 1, 2021, “sugar daddy” apps will be banned from Google’s Play Store.

Sugar daddy is a term used to describe an older, affluent individual who provides gifts and money to a younger partner in exchange for a relationship. Even though Google did not specify why these apps will be banned, this news is in keeping with US legislation against online sex trafficking that removes protection from information that promotes or facilitates prostitution.

“We don’t allow apps that include or promote sexual content or profanity, including pornography, or any content or services designed to be sexually gratifying,” according to the existing content policy.

In addition to these improvements, Google Play now has strict regulations for developers who have been inactive for a year or more. The Google Play policy update notes, “We’re adding a new section in our Enforcement policy to close inactive or abandoned developer accounts after one year of inactivity and additional criteria.”

Apps with over a thousand downloads and recent in-app purchases will be granted an exception, but if the developer has not checked in to the Google Play interface or submitted a new app, their account will be canceled. From September 1, 2021, the policy will be in effect.

These policy revisions and modifications are intended to make the Google Play store safer for users, as the firm plans to crack down hard on non-compliant and fraudulent developers.

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