Google Play Store Policy Changes 2024

Google Play Store Policy Changes 2024

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Google regularly updates its developer policies to make sure Google Play is a safe and trustworthy platform for everyone. While this is unquestionably necessary and essential to protect users and their data, keeping up with the latest changes to ensure applications remain safe and compliant can feel a little overwhelming for developers.

We want to help lighten that load and in this article we highlight two imminent Play Store policy changes which, if action is not taken, have the potential to seriously impact applications featured in the store. These changes are:

  • Google Play Account Deletion Policy
  • Play Console Developer Account Verification

We’ll provide you with an overview of the change, what it might mean for your applications and what you can do to stay compliant, keeping your apps in the Play Store.

Let’s dive in…

Google Play Account Deletion Policy

What’s happening?

Last year Google introduced a new account deletion requirement to provide app users with more control over their data. The updated policy means all applications which allow users to create, or even sign into, an account within the application itself must also offer the ability to delete their account from within the application. Users must also be provided with the ability to delete their account via a website, so as to not have to reinstall an application to delete an account.

Earlier this year Google began to rollout a new data deletion badge and data deletion area on store listings for applications featured in Google Play. The previous data deletion badge was removed and, in order for the new badge to be displayed, applications must have an approved Data safety form, including the Data deletion questions, in the Play Console.

What does it mean for me?

Developers whose applications offer account creation and/or sign in functionality were required to complete the account deletion section of their Data safety form by 7 December 2023. Those whose applications were compliant needed to take no further action. Those whose applications were non-compliant, and who required additional time to make updates, were able to request an extension until 31 May 2024, after which they may face additional enforcement actions, including removal of the application from the Google Play store.

What do I need to do?

Developers whose applications are impacted by the policy change must ensure their applications are compliant and have an approved Data safety form, including the Data deletion questions, in Play Console by 31 May 2024 or face possible enforcement actions.

Below are the key points from the Google Play Account Deletion Policy:

  1. Ease of use: It should be easy for users to delete their account and account deletion functionality should be available at two places – one in app and secondly via web resource.
  2. Data deletion: If an account is deleted, all the data associated with it must also be deleted, unless specific retention of that data is required for security, fraud prevention or legal reasons. If data is to be retained, make sure users are informed hat data is to be retained, for what reason and for how long.
  3. Flexibility: Give users the freedom to choose if they want to delete their whole account or just specific content such as activity history, image links, videos etc.
  4. Transparency and guidance: Ensure users understand what data is going to be deleted (or retained) and provide guidance around how users can handle their data.
  5. Compliance: Update the Data Safety form in the Play Console and respond to all new Data Deletion questions by (if applicable) the extended deadline of 31 May 2024.
  6. User experience: Be sure to follow best practices to design an intuitive deletion flow, including clear visibility and access to deletion options, requiring secondary user confirmation that they definitely want to delete their account, or embedding a small pop-up explaining the impact of account deletion.

Applications which conform to the above guidance will likely have no issues complying with the new policy, although be sure to confirm this via the Play Console.

Play Console developer account verification

What’s happening?

In July 2023, to boost trust and transparency on Google Play, Google announced new verification requirements for those creating new Play Console developer accounts. While new accounts will complete the process as part of setup, existing accounts (those created before September 2023) also need to comply with the new requirements by a deadline which is either self-selected or assigned by Google.

The verification process is completed via the Play Console and requires both personal and organization account owners to provide certain, albeit different, information (more on this later) to enable Google to verify their identity.

What does it mean for me?

Developers who have a personal Play Console developer account (or manage an organization account) created prior to September 2023, will need to verify the account before their chosen or allocated deadline. Starting in November 2023, they’ll have been invited to select a verification deadline between 8 November 2023 and 31 March 2024 – those who did not self-select a deadline before 29 February 2024 will have been automatically assigned one by Google.

Developers who do not complete the verification process by their chosen or allocated deadline will have their developer profile and apps removed from Google Play. Developers who earn money on Google Play using Google Play’s billing system will also need to verify their merchant payment details and those with unverified bank accounts will have their developer presence and apps removed from Google Play.

What do I need to do?

If the account you’re responsible for was created before September 2023 and you haven’t either selected a deadline or already verified your account, you’ll have been assigned a deadline by Google. To find out what the deadline is for your account, head to your Play Console developer account and click the verification banner.

You’ll be able to start account verification in the Play Console 60 days before your deadline i.e. if your deadline is 28 August you can begin the process from 29 June. When your 60 day window is open you’ll need to provide the required information to complete the verification process.

As we said earlier, the information required differs between personal and organisational accounts and is outlined below:

Required information: personal developer accountRequired information: organization developer account
Legal name (shown on Google Play)
Legal address (country shown on Google Play)
Contact email address (verified using one-time password)
Preferred locale for email communications
Contact phone number (verified using one-time password)
Developer email address (shown on Google Play)
Additional information for personal developer accounts:
Developer website (optional)
Legal name (shown on Google Play)
Legal address (shown on Google Play)
Contact email address (verified using one-time password)
Preferred locale for email communications
Contact phone number (verified using one-time password)
Developer email address (verified using one-time password and shown on Google Play)
Developer phone number (verified using one-time password and shown on Google Play)

Additional information for organizations:
Organisation type:
– Company/business
– Non-profit Academic institution
– Government

Organisation size:
– 1-10
– 11–50
– 51-100
– 101–1000
Over 1K employees
Organisation phone number
Organisation website

Other policy deadlines

Other scheduled policy updates and deadlines are listed below, for the latest information visit the Google Play Policy deadlines page.

Deadline (YYYY-MM-DD)Policy change Description
2024-03-06Payments
To comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulation, beginning March 6, 2024, we’re updating our Payments policy to allow developers to direct European Economic Area (EEA) users outside their app, including to promote offers for in-app digital features and services, subject to program requirements. Additionally, we’re expanding our alternative billing programs for EEA users to include more eligible device types and app categories. Learn more Announced 2024-03-06
2024-04-03Financial Services 
We’re updating our Personal Loans policy to restrict additional use cases from accessing sensitive permissions. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-04-03Malware 
We’re updating our Spyware policy to clarify our existing approach to protecting users from malicious applications, code, or behavior. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-04-03Inappropriate Content
We’re consolidating our Terrorism Content and Dangerous Organizations and Movements policies (formerly under the Violence policy), into a single Violent Extremism policy. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-04-03Device and Network Abuse
We’re updating our Permissions for Foreground Services policy with an exception for the “dataSync” foreground service type to permit its use for Play Asset Delivery functionality. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-04-03Inappropriate Content 
We’re updating our Inappropriate Content policy with guidance on sexual content in book and video catalog apps. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-04-03Mobile Unwanted Software
We’re updating our Mobile Unwanted Software policy to clarify that developers must not request or deceive users into disabling device security protections such as Google Play Protect. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-04-03Malware
We’re updating our Malware policy to clarify that Maskware is a subtype of malware. Maskware is an application that utilizes a variety of evasion techniques in order to serve the user different, or fake, application functionality. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-05-31Permissions and APIs that Access Sensitive Information
To give users a better experience, we’re introducing new limitations for using the USE_FULL_SCREEN_INTENT permission. For apps targeting Android U (API level 34) and above, we’re changing this permission to a special app access permission. Only apps whose core functionality requires a full screen notification will be granted this permission by default. All other apps will need to request permission from the user. Announced 2023-10-25
2024-05-31Health Content and Services
We’re adding a new Health apps policy under “Health Content and Services” to introduce new requirements for apps that fall under the Health apps categories. We’re also updating the policy to reflect current public health guidance. Announced 2023-10-25
2024-05-31Health Content and Services
To enhance the visibility and management of health-related apps on Google Play, we’re introducing a Health Apps console declaration. Apps with health or medical-related features or functionality must attest to this on Play Console. Learn more Announced 2024-04-03
2024-05-31Financial Services
We’re clarifying our Personal Loans policy to ensure loan repayment periods comply with local regulations. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-08-31Permissions and APIs that Access Sensitive Information
For a more privacy preserving experience for users, we’re introducing the Photo and Video Permissions policy to reduce the number of apps permitted to request broad photo/video permissions (READ_MEDIA_IMAGES and READ_MEDIA_VIDEO). Apps may only access photos and videos for purposes directly related to app functionality. Apps that have a one-time or infrequent need to access these files are requested to use a system picker, such as the Android photo picker. Announced 2023-10-25
2024-08-31Deceptive Behavior
We’re updating our Manipulated Media policy to include audio as an additional example of a type of media covered under the policy. Announced 2024-04-03
2024-08-31Permissions and APIs that Access Sensitive Information
We’re updating our Health Connect policy to streamline the Health Connect application process and align with the Health Apps policy. The existing form-based application will be replaced with a new Play Console declaration later this year. Announced 2024-04-03
2025-01-31Child Endangerment
We’re introducing a Child Safety Standards policy requiring Social and Dating apps to follow specific standards and self-certify compliance on Play Console before publishing. Announced 2024-04-03
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