Google to Punish Apps that Violate its User Data Policy
Did you by chance receive a notice like this? If yes, then Google would probably descend on your app – and they mean business.
Several of the sensitive user data that apps often handle are:
- Personal information used for identification purposes
- Financial and payment information
- Authentication information
- Contact list
- Data from camera sensor
- Sensitive device data
So, if you are still unable to comply by March 15, Google will “limit” the visibility of your app in the store listing or remove it altogether. A lot of tech news outlets call Google’s drastic policy enforcement as a “purge”. The said purge is estimated to “cleanse” the Play Store from millions of apps. Even some app developers think that this is a positive thing. A few of the cited benefits are:
- The decongestion of the Play Store
- A safer app experience
- Improvement in the standards of the store listing through the elimination of low-quality apps and “zombie apps”. The so-called zombie apps refer to apps that had been up and running for several years without being updated
- Increased visibility for original apps
What Can You Do About This?
The simple answer would be to comply with Google’s policy. There are two ways you can do this.
- Remove all requests for sensitive user data. This is possible if your app’s function doesn’t depend on the input of user data.