Google has announced that it will be removing inactive Play Store developer accounts in their set of Play Policies. The accounts will be removed if they have been inactive after one year of dormancy.
Developer accounts with less than 1,000 installs or in-app purchases “in the last 90 days” will be targeted, and the policy itself will come into effect on 1 September 2021. The developers whose accounts will close can, however, create new ones in the future, but they won’t be able to reactivate their old accounts, apps or data.
“Google Play remains a safer ecosystem when developers actively maintain their apps. So, we will close dormant accounts if the account is inactive or abandoned after a year. This includes accounts where the developer has never uploaded an app or accessed Google Play Console in a year,” wrote Google.
Implementing the policy would clean unmaintained apps from their Play Store. Apps that have vulnerabilities and severe bugs would likely be removed and the store would remain a safer ecosystem when developers actively maintain their apps.
Google also noted that now, all apps that use the AccessibilityService API will need to “disclose data access and purpose” in the Google Play Console and get approval. They explain that it was important for users “to have an accessible experience that is secure”.
In addition, they explained that they are improving their advertising privacy and security. When users opt-out of interest-based advertising or ad personalisation, their advertising ID will be removed and replaced with a string of zeros. It will be a phased rollout—expanding to all apps running on devices that support Google Play by early 2022. You can read more information about it here.
Google has also recently updated its Play Store policy to ban sugar dating apps on its platform. The new update which will come into effect on 1st September will ban apps that promote sex-related entertainment, escort services, or other services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation.
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