Google revises Play Store developer policies to corner nefarious developers
Google is taking steps to clean up Play Store by ensuring that developers get their act together and refrain from publishing apps that contain or promote pornography, and steer clear of potentially deceptive in-app advertisements.
Google made this clear through emails to developers [one such email has been published here] by highlighting a number of areas including shady app development tricks, illegal tracking of users, modification to mobile browser on behalf of third parties including advertisers, and deceptive advertisements.
“We’ve updated our content policies to further clarify our stance on sexually explicit material and provide a better experience for our users, including minors” reads the email.
“We’ve clarified the System Interference policy to prohibit any browser modifications on behalf of third-parties or advertisements.”
Majority of the updates seem to be in the new ‘App Promotion’ section of the Google Play Developer Program Policy which prohibits developers from engaging or benefiting directly or indirectly from promotion via deceptive ads, promotion or install tactics without informed user action, and unsolicited promotions via SMS.
Developers have got 15 days to comply after which Google will start policing the Google Play streets and will either start issuing warnings or remove the noncompliant apps from the store.
The latest set of measures seem to be Google’s way to cornering nefarious developers who may have been benefiting from lax developer policies. Play Store has always been far more lenient as far as the types of apps it allows developers to publish compared to Apple App Store – a scenario which has turned Google’s App Store into a wild west.