What is privacy?
The guidelines we’ve made available here are intended to help you ensure that your applications don’t violate your users’ privacy. But what does that mean?
Privacy means different things to different people, but when we use it here, we mean making sure that, when your application collects and uses personal information, it does it in ways that meet consumers’ expectations and give them proper control.
But what is personal information? If information is related to an individual and by using it you could identify, locate or contact that individual, then it’s personal information. A name or a phone number are pieces of personal information, but they aren’t the only ones. A user is identified (and could be contacted or located) even when you’ve only associated them with a unique identifier. Even aggregated and anonymous information can have privacy implications. Read more in our guidelines,or take a look at the illustrations below.
Why should I care?
What happens if your application does have a privacy problem? Well, in a worst-case scenario, a data protection regulator or consumer protection authority might investigate you for a legal or regulatory violation – which might cause you to have to pull your application, pay fines or even have criminal penalties. But that’s a rare scenario – more likely, a privacy problem with your application could lead to unhappy consumers and bad ratings, or you might find yourself being “named and shamed” by a privacy advocate – many of them are paying particular attention in this space and are actively engaged.
Of course, if your application is identified by our testing or reported by your users as violating privacy, it goes without saying that we won’t approve your application or we’ll pull it from our platforms. Keep in mind too that the guidelines here form part of our Developer Agreement, so you’re bound to comply with them when you participate in our programme.
Learn more about your privacy obligations in our guidelines, Developing for Privacy in Mobile Applications.
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