Google reinforces new Play Store policies to safeguard children from inappropriate app downloads

Parental concerns over children’s internet safety have always been an issue. Besides cybercrime, children are highly influenced by the videos they see and the apps they download.

Luckily, Google is taking charge and announced a new set of Play Store policies that will abide the developers aiming to market apps to the young users.

According to the new policies, the developers will now be required to define their target audience for the apps that they add to the Play database. They will also have to determine whether the mentioned product is suitable for young children, older users, or both.

If the app is solely targeted towards the children, they must follow the new Families policies. For example, if the app user accesses the app on any open Android device such as at a restaurant or mall – the developer must ensure that the app has a ‘neutral age screen’ and creates an experience that complies with the rules.

The rules also mandate the app creators to create content and marketing material suitable for children. The in-app advertisement should also be customized according to the audience and must be sourced from Google Play certified ad network.

In case any app includes an augmented reality experience, they must be warned to seek adult supervision. Apps developed for Google Play Store should also comply with the rules set by the US Children’s’ Online Privacy and Protection Act and the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

The new rules will be applicable to the existing apps from September 1. However, those who are planning to submit new apps to the Play Store will have to align their product with Google’s policies from today.

Recently, Google also introduced an explicit ban on the apps that include content related to marijuana aiming for improved and safe experience with the Play Store products. Google is also tightening the Play Store policies around NSFW, hate speech, and loot boxes related apps to make its platform more friendly for minors.

Google play store strengthens kids apps safeguards with new Android policies
Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

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