If you’re an Android developer and you currently have apps in the Play Store or will be publishing them soon, a new policy in the works by Google and set to be implemented from September 30th going forward is something that you should take notice of. That’s considering that you haven’t already seen it. According to a statement in the Google Play Developer Console, Google is tweaking the policy to make it so that any app developers that will publish apps after Sep. 30th or have apps in the Play Store as of now, will need to provide a physical address on file associated with their apps in the Google Play Store after that date. Google is requesting that the address be associated with their developer profile, which would then make the detail visible to any users of the Play Store app, although this only applies to paid apps and apps with in-app purchases.
At first this seems like a reasonable request, as developers could be considered business owners or could work for a business, and businesses have their addresses public. Many developers are not working for a business though, and work from home, which basically means that many indie developers will have their home address visible to pretty much anyone. With this new policy set to go into place in just 11 days, naturally there are plenty of developers that are not happy about the change, and possibly because they weren’t informed personally through email. What’s to stop someone who is unhappy with a developer’s work from tracking them down now that their address will be listed on their apps details page? We realize that is a completely outlandish scenario, but it isn’t impossible.
It may be possible for developers to list a P.O Box although there is no detail on whether or not Google will accept them, and even if they do we have to imagine that there will be plenty of developers that don’t have a P.O. Box and now will be required to obtain one. If you develop apps for Android, what are your thoughts on this new policy change? Is it a huge issue for you or are you fine with listing a physical address on the app details page?