Google is having fun with app removals due to missing privacy policy texts

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
If you have apps using admob be sure you have an in-app privacy policy and one on a website which is entered in the google play console.

If not they just temporary remove your apps without giving a warning first.

Hi developers at ...,

After review, <appname>, <packagename>, has been removed from Google Play due to a policy violation. This app won’t be available to users until you submit a compliant update.

Issue: Violation of Usage of Android Advertising ID policy and section 4.8 of the Developer Distribution Agreement

Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information. We’ve identified that your app collects and transmits the Android advertising identifier, which is subject to a privacy policy requirement. If your app collects the Android advertising ID, you must provide a valid privacy policy in both the designated field in the Play Console, and from within the app.

Next steps: Submit your app for another review

Read through the Usage of Android Advertising ID and User Data policies, as well as the Developer Distribution Agreement, and make appropriate changes to your app. If you decide to collect sensitive user information, be sure to abide by the above policies, and include a link to a valid privacy policy on your app's store listing page and within your app.
Make sure that your app is compliant with all other Developer Program Policies. Additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy violations.
Sign in to your Play Console and submit the update to your app.
Alternatively, you may opt-out of this requirement by removing any requests for sensitive permissions or user data.

If approved, your app will again be available with all installs, ratings, and reviews intact.

If you’ve reviewed the policy and feel this removal may have been in error, please reach out to our policy support team. One of my colleagues will get back to you within 2 business days.

Thanks for helping us provide a clear and transparent experience for Google Play users.
 

hookshy

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
I had several issues with google also , after removing the content that violates policy they published the app again on the market.
It depends on the one that reviews the app ...if he is at first time in the morning and he feels lucky :) you might have a problem when he cecks your apps ... there are some that pass over your app just to make time pass ....

This is why some of the apps I had run with errors many years with no problem until one guy ...search out and found out something spectacular about my app and decided to make actions just to be sure he has some activity :) sometimes i feel like I am beeing cecked by people that has nothing to do with app developement

They need activity to write something in their reports otherwise life can be boring, very interesting character this google friend ... hopefully I still live on the market
 

LucaMs

Expert
Licensed User
"Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information."
My app, removed, asks the user to choose-invent a nick name; is this a "sensitive user information"???

We’ve identified that your app collects and transmits the Android advertising identifier
What did they identify??? I suspect that they still have to identify (find) their father.
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
they just scan on the existance of ad libraries I guess and look at the app to see if there's a privacy policy on the main menu.

Apple requires it in the console but currently not (yet) in the app itself I believe.
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
My app, removed, asks the user to choose-invent a nick name; is this a "sensitive user information"???
not really but you'll have to put in your privacy policy that you will only use it for scoring reasons and not share it with third parties (as if they can use anything with it)
 

LucaMs

Expert
Licensed User
not really but you'll have to put in your privacy policy that you will only use it for scoring reasons and not share it with third parties (as if they can use anything with it)
Sure, my user could choose Washington (George?) as nick name and I could sell this precious information or use it for... :eek::mad::mad::mad:
 

LucaMs

Expert
Licensed User
Google should think more on what it does with our texts on its search engine!
:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:



[EDIT] This is wrong: Google knows how to use this data.
 
Last edited:

tigrot

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
I'm getting bored about Google policies, I don't think to develop both Apple and Android any more.
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
it seems admob is getting in line with google play store...

as usual you have to guess what might be wrong :)

Hello,

This email is to alert you that one of your applications is not currently in compliance with our AdMob program policies and as a result, ad serving has been disabled to your application.

Issue ID#: 1234567890

Ad serving has been disabled to: com.someappname

Action required: Check all other remaining applications in your account for compliance.

Current account status: Active
 

Multiverse app

Active Member
Licensed User
The thing is, Google play store is filled with malware, untrusted apps, spyware and low-quality apps. Because of which, good apps don't get the spotlight, and also degrades the overall rating of their app store.

Just a few days ago, 9 malware with more than a million downloads were removed, because they either sold the user info or downloaded other apps in the background, which would then show ads on user's lock screens without their consent.

If complying with Google means low-quality apps will be removed, we all could just follow Google's policies, as ridiculous as they may seem at times.
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
it depends who will judge on the quality of apps.

it's not that I don't find an app usefull/attractive that it won't suit thousands of users who can use it.

and about that info selling... if you add an app with a mandatory policy saying that you won't share(/sell) user info but you do behind their back then what?
no way to figure that out I guess.

I don't have a problem that they go on with the trashing of the malware apps tho.
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
the story goes on and on...

I finally submitted a policy url to my app page in google dev console.

While the app was already removed and I didn't even uploaded the new version it was manually reviewed again.
Now it was rejected because of "deceptive ads".

Atleast they add screenshots of the problem this time and guess what...

You can't even link to your own games page on Google Play by using a game related icon (gamepad in my case)!

I guess it can only be "more games" or something.
 

LucaMs

Expert
Licensed User
the story goes on and on...

I finally submitted a policy url to my app page in google dev console.

While the app was already removed and I didn't even uploaded the new version it was manually reviewed again.
Now it was rejected because of "deceptive ads".

Atleast they add screenshots of the problem this time and guess what...

You can't even link to your own games page on Google Play by using a game related icon (gamepad in my case)!

I guess it can only be "more games" or something.
What can I say? Just... no comments!

... and some...

:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

melonZgz

Active Member
Licensed User
You can't even link to your own games page on Google Play by using a game related icon (gamepad in my case)!

I guess it can only be "more games" or something.
Exactly what happened to me in my Catapult game! I just had to change the gamepad icon to a text one wich said "more games". The strange thing is that my game has been in the store for years, and it happens now. BTW, I've had A LOT of warnings lately because these kind of things...
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
they constantly change their policies and most people don't read it all in detail either.
You can't blame them as that technical english is not always easy to understand.

so a lot of us slipped through it but it seems they have a team now that is going through all apps to trash what's not following their rules.

I wonder if they'll do that with apps where they earn millions on aswell.
It's probably the little fish only as usual.
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
While re-coding my apps to be as much Xui based and google policy/gdpr conform another one got removed yesterday.

I can see a trend in the removals.

It seems to be chronological to the first release date or grouped by year of release.

So I guess they go through such list and not take a developer's profile and check all his apps at once.
 

sorex

Expert
Licensed User
Another removal :)

It seems they are now reading the app descriptions with a magnifying glass.

If you have a slight reference to something else (in my case a reference to a tv program from decades ago) they remove your app for being misleading.

8 hours later I also received a mail that admob has been disabled for that app.

It seems that things are working better together now at their end, which is the only positive part of this post :)
 

Star-Dust

Expert
Licensed User
Another removal :)

It seems they are now reading the app descriptions with a magnifying glass.

If you have a slight reference to something else (in my case a reference to a tv program from decades ago) they remove your app for being misleading.

8 hours later I also received a mail that admob has been disabled for that app.

It seems that things are working better together now at their end, which is the only positive part of this post :)
They are reviewing all the old apps with a much stiffer method.

I have suspended several apps for nonsense or because AdMob advertising was not well divided by a separator. AdMob also suspends advertising if the app does not comply with Google Play rules.
An App was suspended because it had a malfunction that I did not notice.

Who knows if the future will suspend if you have too many low marks

Since in the end you do not earn enough to justify too much work I'm letting you suspend them.
 
Top