Google Play developer guidelines tightened in response to piracy and security concerns

Google has responded to developer concerns about piracy and the discovery of security vulnerabilities by tightening its developer guidelines for its Google Play app store.

Last week, SmartCompany reported that developers were criticising allegedly rampant piracy on Google Play and Android, while security researchers at TrustWave’s SpiderLabs uncovered a number of exploits for Android that were not detected by Google’s Bouncer screening program.

H-Online reports that Google has responded to piracy concerns by tightening its rules for submitting apps to the store, including banning apps that impersonate other companies without written authorisation, render another site without permission, or use automated processes to submit apps to Google Play.

Security concerns were also addressed in the new guidelines, which expressly state that the user’s consent is needed for an app to send SMS text messages, send or receive emails, collect location information, or install other apps.

Developers are now also responsible for ad content within apps, which Google will treat as part of the app itself. Ads that force users to submit personal information to use an app are also expressly prohibited under the new rules.

While the new guidelines apply immediately for all new submissions, Google is allowing a 30-day grace period for all existing apps.

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