April 29, 2022
Google Play Store Data Requirements (and How to Handle Them)
5 Min Read
What are the new Google Play Store requirements?
On July 20th, 2022, all developers on the Google Play store will be required to declare how they collect and handle user data for apps they publish on the platform. They will also be required to provide details about how they protect their data (specifically on their security practices, encryption, masking, etc.).
A new form in the Data Safety section of Google Play’s ‘App Content’ page will need to be filled out by developers that have an app published on Google Play; this includes apps that are on internal, closed, open, or production testing tracks.
Interested in learning more? Sign up for our webinar, Google Play Data Safety: What it Means for Your Android App.
How can OneTrust help?
OneTrust Mobile App Consent gives Android developers a clear picture of exactly what data-tracking technologies are collecting from their app users.
Scan your app to identify privacy permissions, frameworks, and SDKs, and better understand third-party trackers on your app with a pre-categorized database. Use the scan report to fill out the Google Data Safety section form that is required for app owners.
Additionally, based on the scan, you can adjust your consent approach accordingly to demonstrate compliance and meet data requirements. With visual reports, the privacy health of your app will be easier to understand as well.
Ensure optimal user experience by leveraging OneTrust’s pre-built consent options, or customize your own. Unique consent approaches will be displayed to users based on their location, along with syncing consent and preferences across multiple devices.
Finally, monitor your consent rates over time at a granular level, capturing who consented, when, and what message they received upon giving consent. Demonstrating compliance to regulatory bodies and auditors becomes much easier with a historical consent database that comes with receipts and analytics to show the progress of your app’s privacy journey.
Learn more about OneTrust’s Mobile App Consent Platform here.
10 steps to navigate the Google Play Store requirements
Developers can follow the steps below to navigate the requirements with ease:
- Leverage OneTrust Mobile App Consent to scan your application.
- Review the scan report to get a clear view of the technologies that are tracking user data on your app.
- Open the Google Play Console and click on the App Content page (Policy -> App Content).
- Under ’Data Safety’, select ‘Start’.
- In the ‘Data Collection and Security’ section, review the list of required user data types that you need to disclose. If your app collects or shares any of the required user data types, select Yes. If not, select No.
- If you selected Yes, confirm the following by answering Yes or No:
- Is all user data collected by your app encrypted in transit?
- Do you provide a way for users to request their data to be deleted?
- In the ‘Data Types’ section, select all user data types that your app collects and/or shares.
- In the ‘Data Usage and Handling’ section, answer the questions on how the data your app collects and/or shares is used and handled for each user.
- After answering all questions, the ‘Store Listing Preview’ section previews the information that will be shown to users on the Google Play Store based on the answers you provided.
- If you’re ready to submit your form, select Submit. If there’s anything to be modified, you can select ‘Back’ to change your answers. You can also select ‘Save as Draft’ to return to the form later. Upon selecting ‘Discard Changes’ the form will reset, and you will need to fill it out again.
What’s on the horizon for Google Play Store apps?
From April 2022, the ‘Data Safety’ section will be available on the Google Play Store to all users.
Until July 20th, 2022, developers can temporarily proceed to publish app updates regardless of whether the Google Play Store finds issues with the information disclosed.
If there are no issues, the app will be approved, with no further action required from the developer. If there are issues, you will need to revert your Data Safety form’s status to “Draft” in Play Console to publish your app update.
The Google Play Store will also send the developer account owner an email, an Inbox message in Play Console, and show this information on the ‘Policy Status’ page.
After July 20th, 2022, all apps on the Google Play Store, including those that do not collect user data, will be required to complete an accurate Data Safety form that discloses their data collection and sharing practices. Any non-compliant apps may face additional enforcement actions, such as removal of the app listing from the Google Play Store.