Google’s privacy changes - what you need to know

February 15, 2022 Unity Technologies

What is changing and when, and what action developers need to take

2021 was a big year for privacy changes in the world of mobile. We first saw the enforcement of necessary opt-in for IDFA usage with the roll-out of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency, then PIPL changes that started in China on November 1st, 2021. 

And starting April 1st 2022, Google is rolling out a couple of additional privacy changes specific to Android devices.

Unity is here to help you understand what these changes are, and how they impact the products you use with Unity. 

 

What are the Google changes happening in April 2022?

There are two main changes to be aware of. 

The first is a new requirement for developers to self identify what data their apps collect and submit that information to the Google Play Store, and the second is the restriction on using the AAID (Android Advertising ID) for games targeting children.

 

Google Play Store Survey change

Similar to Apple’s ‘nutritional label’ requirement in 2021, developers will be required to define what data their apps collect in the ‘Data Safety’ section of the mobile application, including the data collected by integrated third-party SDKs, in order to publish to the Google Play Store.

This can include but is not limited to ad network SDKs, analytics SDKs, and any other game services SDKs. Each SDK provider should supply developers with the proper information to complete the surveys, and developers will need to review and submit this information for their apps to remain compliant. 

Google’s data safety will start roll-out in February 2022, with enforcement by April 2022.

 

Google Families Ads Program change

As of April 1st 2022, Google will update a policy related to their Families Ads Program, that adds a requirement that will no longer allow Device IDs to leave the players’ device in apps targeted towards children (or, in the case of mixed audience games, users of unknown age). Using ad SDKs that have self-certified compliance with Google Play Policies can help you meet your Google compliance obligations. 

The specific policy update that should be evaluated can be found here.

 

What do these changes mean for developers?

 

Google Play Store policy changes

App developers who publish games in the Google Play Store will need to consult with their data providers to properly complete the Data Safety surveys for compliance.

Find the Unity Surveys in our technical documentation here.

 

Families Ads Program Changes

Developers who advertise to children (ie, have any COPPA targeting in the game) must upgrade to an Ads SDK that is compliant with the new Families Ads Program changes. 

Check with your ad network providers for their plans to release compliant SDKs prior to the April 1st deadline. 

For developers who use the Unity Ads SDK, the policy changes will be supported through a backend change scheduled for sometime in March. A minor code change will be required. Stay tuned for more information.

 

Where can I get more information?

More information on the Google changes can be found on their site:

Unity’s Google Play Store surveys for respective SDKs can be found here:

 

You can always reach out to your Unity representative for help. 

Don’t have one? Reach out to the Unity support team by submitting a ticket here.

 



More resources around privacy

Our iOS 14 Resource Center is full of content and new features to support both advertisers and publishers with privacy changes. Check out App Readiness Guide, Advertisers Guide, and Publishers Guide to help prepare for the iOS environment.

 

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