Google Threatens Removal Of Apps To Android Developers

Google recently started warning Android developers about their apps on the Google Play Store that violate the company's User Data Policy, threatening to take action against their creations if they don't fix these issues quickly. Over the last two days, the Alphabet-owned company reportedly messaged numerous developers from all around the world regarding those violations. Most developers contacted by Google are offering Android apps which require what Google's User Data Policy refers to as "sensitive permissions" without having a valid privacy policy in place. This violation may result in millions of Android apps being removed from the Google Play Store in the coming weeks, The Next Web speculates.

An example of a warning Google recently started sending to Android developers can be seen below. The Mountain View-based tech giant is offering two options to developers who can either include a valid privacy policy to their app or its Google Play Store listing or modify their app so that it stops requiring sensitive permissions. The Internet giant also isn't making vague threats as the company specifically states the deadlines by which developers must adhere to those requirements. If they miss their deadlines, the company will either "limit the visibility" of their Android apps or completely remove them from the Google Play Store, the email reveals. While the warning below sets the deadline on March 15, it's unclear whether other developers warned by Google were given more or less time to adhere to the company's request.

Regardless, this move may lead to a huge purging of the Google Play Store as the Mountain View-based tech giant may soon remove a significant number of abandoned apps violating its User Data Policy. While Google has always been enforcing its privacy policy requirement, it rarely did so in such a systematic manner. Some Android developers are applauding this move as they're convinced it will help them promote their apps. For example, Nerd Agency's Jack Cooney told The Next Web that Google's purge of "zombie apps" will allow conscientious developers to do a better job at ranking for specific search terms that are currently cluttered by apps that are in clear violation of the company's policies.

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About the Author

Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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