Android Builders Weblog: Notes from Google Play: Maintaining our platform secure

Posted by Jacqueline Hart, Director, Trusted Experiences, Developer Enablement

Hello there,

With tens of millions of Android apps to select from, customers are more and more targeted on the privateness and safety of the titles they obtain. That’s why it’s so necessary to construct consumer belief with pleasant, high-quality app experiences constructed on a safe basis.

I’m Jacqueline Hart and I lead the group that helps builders navigate our insurance policies. We’re additionally chargeable for reviewing apps on Google Play to verify they’re secure for customers.

On this version of Notes from Google Play, I’d prefer to share how we’re working to enhance your coverage expertise and the way we’re serving to strengthen consumer belief by highlighting your app’s strategy to privateness and safety.

Over the previous few months, we’ve shared updates on our key privateness and safety initiatives that can assist you put together for adjustments and use new instruments and sources, together with enhanced account information transparency and controls in your app’s Information security part and new Android 14 performance. Now, I’m happy to share the following part of options, instruments, and updates that we’ve been engaged on to assist preserve our platform secure and reliable.

Providing you with a greater coverage expertise

A number of months in the past, we introduced that we’re redesigning the App content page in Google Play Console to make your excellent duties clearer, and now we’re including extra data that can assist you:

  • Spot deadlines with a brand new timeline view for brand new and up to date declarations
  • Perceive why your app is in-scope for a specific declaration
  • Discover related coverage points alongside every declaration, serving to you establish and repair points extra shortly

Later this 12 months, we plan to indicate not simply current declarations, but in addition upcoming declaration necessities and deadlines to present you extra time to plan.

Clearly see excellent declaration-related duties in our redesigned App content material web page. 
Instance is illustrative and topic to vary

We’re additionally getting you vital details about third-party SDKs, together with a brand new discover on Google Play SDK Index that can assist you make extra knowledgeable choices about which model of an SDK might trigger your app to violate Google Play insurance policies.

And now we’re bringing extra vital data proper into Play Console. Beforehand, you would solely study SDK-related coverage points affecting your apps by an Inbox message or e mail. Later this 12 months, we’ll convey this data to you proper on the Policy status page so you may see any points in a single place and keep on prime of your app’s coverage standing.

Quickly, you may study SDK-related coverage points on the Coverage standing web page in Play Console.
Instance is illustrative and topic to vary

We’re additionally making it simpler to discover out in case your app is impacted by our Target API requirements, which requires you to construct for the most recent variations of Android so you may make use of our newest safety updates and platform enhancements. Since early August, you might have seen data outlining any potential influence in your app on the Policy status page, together with sources that can assist you study what to do to remain compliant.

To present you additional assist, we’re launching extra methods to enhance the expertise. These embrace the brand new Developer Help Community, the place you may ask your friends about the whole lot from Play Console to the most recent coverage adjustments, and the Google Play Strike Removal program, which helps eligible builders get sure enforcement strikes eliminated after passing a associated Play Academy coaching course. We launched this system as a pilot final 12 months and have seen a profitable discount in repeat violations, so now we’re making it accessible to all builders.

Constructing consumer belief with the Information security part

Safety performs an necessary position in serving to customers determine whether or not an app is correct for them. Lately, we introduced account information transparency and controls within the Information security part to assist construct consumer belief. When you haven’t accomplished your up to date Data safety form but, watch our two-minute video to find out how earlier than the December 7, 2023 deadline. Customers will start to see your new data in your retailer itemizing in early 2024.
Provide data deltion options in Play Console by Dec 7, 2023
Quickly, you may study SDK-related coverage points on the Coverage standing web page in Play Console. 
Instance is illustrative and topic to vary.

To assist customers really feel assured about their downloads in delicate app classes, we’re quickly including a brand new Play Retailer banner for the VPN app class to emphasise the significance of reviewing an app’s Information security part earlier than putting in.

When customers seek for “VPN” apps in Google Play, they’ll see a banner that encourages them to search for a defend icon within the app’s Information security part, which signifies that the app has accomplished an impartial safety evaluation. VPN builders akin to NordVPN, Google One and ExpressVPN are early adopters of this program. We encourage and anticipate extra VPN app builders to bear impartial safety testing, bringing much more transparency to customers. Customers can study extra in regards to the impartial safety validation course of and see VPN apps which have been independently validated by tapping “Be taught extra” to go to the App Validation Directory.
Independent Security Review - VPN apps with this badge in the Data safety section have been independently validated against a global security standard.
We’re rolling out a Play Retailer new banner to construct consumer confidence within the VPN app class. 
Instance is illustrative and topic to vary.

In case you are a VPN developer and fascinated by studying extra about this function, please submit this form.

Wanting forward

Our group at Google is prioritizing new methods to present customers much more confidence within the high quality and safety of the apps and video games they obtain, establishing Google Play as probably the most trusted app market. This contains efforts like our new developer verification course of for brand new Play Console accounts.

We’ve acquired much more to return, however I’m excited to share these updates with you now, and I hope they enable you to proceed to thrive on our platform. As at all times, thanks for partnering with us to make Google Play a secure, reliable platform.

Jacqueline Hart

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