Avoid the Google Play Purge

Last month, Google Play started sending out emails to developers whose apps violated the company’s User Data policy, warning that they could be removed from the Play Store. Their mistake? In most cases, the violation seemed to stem from the lack of a privacy policy.

If your app doesn’t currently have a privacy policy, you have until March 15th to create one or run the risk of having your app kicked off of Google Play as part of a potential purge.

Google’s User Data policy requires apps to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information. Many apps request permissions to access a user’s camera, microphone, contacts, accounts and other sensitive information, and yet they have no privacy policy explaining what they do with that information or how they keep it safe.

The good news is that a simple fix can keep your app in compliance: just by adding a privacy policy. We recommend consulting with a legal expert to construct a privacy policy that directly addresses your app and its specific operations. But if that’s not feasible, there are resources available like this one that can help you craft a privacy policy all on your own.

You’ll want to link to Tapjoy’s Privacy Policy in order to allow users to see what we do with their information and enable them to give their fully informed consent. Tapjoy strives to always be fully compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, including self regulatory principles such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Code of Conduct, and its “Self Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.”

If Google does in fact begin purging apps from Google Play for not having privacy policies, many developers see the move as a great opportunity. After all, discovery is hard enough, with more than 2.2 million apps in Google Play. As Jack Cooney of Nerd Agency, creator of the app “Hip Hop Ninja!,” told The Next Web, “I think it’s fantastic, this will clear the Google Play store of so many junk and zombie apps that our games will find increased visibility on the store as the search terms will become much less cluttered.”

Just make sure to publish a privacy policy for your app so that you’re not one of the apps left out in the cold!