How to stop transmitting Android advertising ID?


#1

My app doesn’t have any advertisements, but I just got this e-mail from Google saying that I have a Google Play policy violation warning that needs to be resolved within 7 days or my app will be taken down.

Apparently behind the scenes expo is using an Android advertising ID. I don’t want any sort of advertising in my app, so I would like to remove it. Is there any way to do that?

Here is what the email said:

" Reason for warning: Violation of Usage of Android Advertising ID policy and section 4.8 of the Developer Distribution Agreement

Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information. We’ve identified that your app collects and transmits the Android advertising ID, which is subject to a privacy policy requirement.

If your app collects the advertising ID, you must provide a valid privacy policy in both the designated field in the Play Console, and from within the app. Make sure your privacy policy is available on an active URL, applies to your app, and specifically covers user privacy."


#2

Hi @peterolson, same here …
we need to solve this issue in 7 days, I think the solution is to put some url in the privacy policy of the application, but surely the expo team should give us a better solution, to fix this as soon as possible.


#3

I just got this email too. My apps are free, no ads.

Maybe link to privacy policy is enough. The privacy policy probbably should mention that the app uses Expo and what Expo collects.


#4

Can we use the following link?


#5

Received the same email, looking for a solution without the need of creating a privacy policy.


#6

Same for me, I receive the email this morning. Maybe it’s because of Segment ? https://github.com/expo/expo/issues/1138


#7

Same for us, our last build/release is from 3 months ago (we had no changes since)


#8

An issue has been opened on Github : https://github.com/expo/expo/issues/2217


#9

Same problem here. Have not touched my app since release months ago. Do not use advertisement or store any data. I’ts a very simple lorem ipsum creating app


#10

Same here. Apparently Google is doing an audit. I am guessing it is Segment. Is there a standard language we could include? I am wondering what what segment does with the data.


#11

Hey everyone,

I just pinged about this internally. It will be a little bit until the rest of the team gets into the office so that we can properly investigating what is at work here, but I’ll follow up in this post once I have more information.

Cheers,

Adam


#12

Hi everyone –

Thanks for letting us know about this, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience it’s causing. It seems that Google has decided to start flagging all apps that contain code to request the Android advertising ID, to ensure they have a valid privacy policy – even if this code is never actually executed.

As of now, all Expo apps contain the entire Expo SDK, which is how we offer all of our APIs without requiring to you modify native code. This includes modules like Segment, Amplitude, and FacebookAds which all contain native code to request the advertising ID. Note that none of this code is ever executed if you do not use these modules. However, it appears that simply including this code is enough to trigger this new flag from Google.

We are actively working on a way to customize your standalone app builds by excluding modules you are not using. However, as this is still in development, the best solution for now is to just include a privacy policy with your app. Here’s a privacy policy generator tool from Firebase (thanks @michael-molina !) and here’s the template one that Brent recommended on twitter. We’ll update our docs to reflect this.

Finally, and somewhat relatedly, note that Apple will require all apps to have a privacy policy in the next few weeks: https://itunespartner.apple.com/en/apps/news/100002362

Hope this helps. Let us know if we can provide any further information or clarification.


closed #13

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