Search giant Google is implementing a series of new rules and regulations on the Google Play Store. These new guidelines apply to every single app that's available to download on the Google Play Store, the company announced via its official Android Developers blog on Wednesday. In a blog post titled "Building a safer Google Play for kids" Kanika Sachdeva, Product Manager, Google Play explained how these changes are going to affect Android apps going forward.
First and foremost, these changes will affect how ap developers handle personal data of their users, in addition to what demographics they decide to target. More importantly, it will be mandatory for developers to disclose kids are being targeted as the intended audience for their app. This way, Google now wants to make the Play Store more kid-friendly. Even when the children are not the intended audience for their app, Google has advised developers against appealing to children anyway.
"At Google Play, we’re committed to providing a positive, safe environment for children and families. Over the last few years, we’ve helped parents find family-friendly content through the Designed for Families program and empowered them to set digital ground rules for their families with Family Link parental controls," Google said.
Google also said that it's acting upon the feedback received from both users and developers and as a result, they "are evolving our Google Play policies to provide additional protections for children and families." Google explains that these policy changes are built on Google's existing community guidelines that ensure that "apps for children have appropriate content, show suitable ads, and handle personally identifiable information correctly; they also reduce the chance that apps not intended for children could unintentionally attract them."
As part of the new policy, all developers are now being required to complete the new target audience and content section of the Google Play Console and for most developers whose apps don't target children, the content section of the Google Play Console should be relatively quick to complete. If developers choose children as their apps' intended audience, they will be required to fill the follow-up questions.