Every Android developer with a paid app, or an app that includes in-app purchases, will soon be required by Google to list their geographic address publicly on their Google Play developer profile.
Developers who do not cooperate may be banned from the Play app store, an email from Google to a developer revealed.
As Phandroid reports, Google is warning developers that their apps could face rejection from the app store unless they publicly list their address on their profiles.
For big app development companies, this new policy won’t be a problem, as they’ll have office addresses they don’t mind publishing. But a large number of Android developers are private individuals who won’t feel comfortable sharing their home address.
Speaking on Reddit, Android developers expressed their concern over the policy, with “hoti0101” commenting “This is unacceptable. Why can’t we opt out due to privacy concerns?”
It’s been suggested that the new policy has been put in place to discourage scammers from creating misleading apps and releasing them on Android. If Google is now requiring developers to provide an address, then it’s going to be far more difficult to quickly create a low-quality apps.
Concerned Android developers reached out to Google to confirm whether the policy does indeed require them to reveal their address. Reddit user “gonemad16” posted this email, which he claimed to have received from Google after querying the new policy:
We are requiring developers to provide a physical address for all paid apps or apps that enable in-app purchases. The address will be displayed to users in the app store listing page. By September 30, 2014, you’ll be able to add a physical address by going to your Settings page on the Developer Console (https://play.google.com/apps/publish/#ProfilePlace). Please comply within 30 days of the warning notification on the developer console. If you do not provide an address within this period, Google may take action affecting your account. This may include restricting your ability to update apps or publish new apps. Continued failure to provide an address may result in published apps being removed from the store.