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Google Play keeps detecting collection of personal and sensitive information, rejecting my app

Discussion in 'Android' started by _Adriaan, May 7, 2020.

  1. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    Hey everyone,

    Every time I submit an update to my Android app to Google Play, I get the following email:

    Screenshot 2020-05-07 at 16.22.05.png

    As a premium game, and without the need for analytics, I've tried to remove any traces of data collection in my game, but I just keep getting this email after every resubmit. I have...
    - removed all Unity services (Analytics, Cloud Diagnostics, etc).
    - removed the built-in analytics module package and all packages except Unity UI, 2D Sprites, and the VSCode plugin.
    - removed all plugins from my project except I2 Localisation and Rewired, which both have nothing to do with collecting personal information.
    - removed references to SystemInfo.deviceName and SystemInfo.deviceModel.

    What else can I disable, or what am I missing? I'm totally in the dark here, and Google Play's email is totally not helpful.
     
  2. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Which Unity version are you using?

    AFAIK, older Unity versions were collecting stuff regardless of anyone's wishes.
     
  3. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    I'm using Unity 2019.3.10f1.
     
  4. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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  5. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    Followed the guide and was able to get Charles to work. These were the only two URLs that popped up:

    Screenshot 2020-05-07 at 19.35.16.png

    Nothing related to my games, I presume... Weird?
     
  6. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    What assets are you using, 3rd party? ad stuff? social stuff? All these things, especially asset store things are likely to set google or apple off, so it's worth listening them.
     
  7. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    I listed them in my original post: just I2 Localisation and Rewired. AFAIK neither of these plugins need or connect to internet, and Charles Proxy confirmed this I guess.
     
  8. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Do you have a link to a privacy policy from inside the game? Do you use Google Play Games services? I think those transmit user data. We are not targeting younger audience, so it's probably less strict for us, but just to be sure we wrote a privacy policy that says: we use Google Play Games Services, read their Privacy Policy here.

    It has worked for us, but as I said, the requirements are probably less strict for our game.

    PS: Was Play Pass worth it?
     
  9. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    I'm not (or rather 'no longer') using Google Play Games Services because of endless bugs and lack of support. I entered my privacy policy in the Google Play developer interface. I don't have a link to my privacy policy in the game, but that shouldn't be an issue as it's not mentioned anywhere in the email from Google Play?

    What I'm hoping to get at is that the email states that 'they detected' that I'm collecting information, which I'm not - or at least not knowlingly.
     
    AcidArrow likes this.
  10. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I mean they do mention "disclosure" as being their problem, so I made a wild guess that what they wanted is you disclosing the data that Google Play Games Services collect.

    But if you're not using that... I don't know. But Charles Proxy seems to point out that it's not a Unity issue either? (generally Unity analytics stuff point to Unity end-points).
     
  11. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  12. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    Good catch! Will subscribe to that thread too & hopefully push Unity into fixing this ASAP.
     
    dondon likes this.
  13. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    I can confirm after reaching out to the Google Play team that they "detected that your app collects the following personal and sensitive information: Android Device ID and Advertising ID." Unity calls these things internally. I've submitted a bug report and will wait for their answer.
     
    dondon likes this.
  14. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

    Unity Technologies

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    Can you share the bugID? We've had similar issues with Apple (unconfirmed if related) but we haven't (yet) heard of a similar policy from Google https://forum.unity.com/threads/imp...kids-apps-action-needed-by-developers.838939/
     
  15. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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  16. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

    Unity Technologies

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    This issue would require an investigation first, we will let you know. I'm not familiar with a similar workaround at this point.
     
    dondon and _Adriaan like this.
  17. Uriel_Minibuu

    Uriel_Minibuu

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    I have exactly the same problem. In the same way, they rejected an update. I asked the playstore team for more information and they answered:

    You found some solution?
     
  18. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

    Unity Technologies

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    We are working on a solution, no ETA yet.
     
    ViniciusZeroUm and dondon like this.
  19. mecatro

    mecatro

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    Hello everybody, I'm exactly un the same situation since few days. Anyone found à solution ?
     
  20. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    Hey everyone,

    My workaround for this problem is as follows:

    1. I set "Does your app collect any personal and sensitive information?" to "Yes" in Store presence > App content > Target audience and content > App details.
    2. I adding the following to my privacy policy: "Unity, one of the game engines I use (for Hidden Folks, for instance), implements an interface on Android to request a device's Android Device ID and the Advertising ID. I don't use these interfaces in my games whatsoever, and have confirmed through tests that the data that could be requested from these interfaces never leaves your device."

    As you would agree, this is a silly workaround. I am not a laywer and I have no right to advice you to include a line like mine in your privacy policy. I also actually did those tests (as you can read in a post above) but if you're using ads or analytics, this might also not be the case for you. Anyway, tread carefully.

    Google Play accepted my app update after the above changes.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
    protopop likes this.
  21. mecatro

    mecatro

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    Thank you Adriaan, i'll try this today...
     
  22. dondon

    dondon

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    Hey

    That what you selected would imply that there is a parental consent for this "collected" information (Android Device ID and Advertisting ID). Does this reduce your downloads as google asks for parental consent? Or does google not ask for parental consent and expects that you get the parental consent somehow?
     
  23. default_team

    default_team

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    My last release also got rejected. Do you link to your privacy policy in the app itself?

    It seems that now we have to.

    Under personal and sensitive information section it clearly mentions

    BTW thank you for the workaround. I might try it out.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  24. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    I honestly don't know.

    I do not. My privacy policy is clearly displayed on the Google Play storepage and considering I am not collecting any data, I didn't deem it necessary.
     
  25. Uriel_Minibuu

    Uriel_Minibuu

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    I confirm _Adriaan's solution, I followed your steps and I was able to post an update today. Thank you
     
  26. ViniciusZeroUm

    ViniciusZeroUm

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    Hey Jeff,

    I am having the same problem. Is there any update in the status of the issue?
     
    FelipeRezende01 and dondon like this.
  27. JuliusM

    JuliusM

    Unity Technologies

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  28. CanisLupus

    CanisLupus

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    We are also getting this problem and have been for the past weeks. Google is VERY unresponsive and refuses to tell us what exact information they see us collecting. Even after disabling all analytics via code (we just need in-app purchases) we were still rejected, so I assume it is because of this issue... Unfortunately, we are using Unity 2017 LTS, whose support has already ended.
     
  29. dondon

    dondon

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    Yes, same problem here.... The support just for this issue on 2017 LTS would be really helpfull.
     
  30. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    I like how the bug here is that it's not passing Google Play requirements, and not that Unity tries to access user data anyway despite of the wishes of us the developers.

    If I was any more jaded, I'd think the fix involves getting user data anyway, just in a way that maybe passes Google's checks.
     
  31. _Adriaan

    _Adriaan

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    I got a reply from my Unity bug report:

    "We have fixed the issue regarding APK publishing to Google Play. If you will still have any problems regarding that, please reply to this e-mail. The versions currently fixed are: 2020.2.0a14 and 2020.1.0b12. We are working on getting fixes to latest 2019.4 and 2018.4 versions as well."
     
  32. JuliusM

    JuliusM

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    Fixes were made in 2020.2.0a14, 2020.1.0b12, 2019.4.1f1 and 2018.4.24f1.
    2020.2.0a14 should be available by the end of this week
    2020.1.0b12 was already released
    2019.4.1f1 and 2018.4.24f1 should be available by the end of the next week.
     
  33. wagenheimer

    wagenheimer

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    I can confirm that the fix it's working! I generated a new build with 2020.1b12 and it was approved.
     
    JuliusM likes this.
  34. CybIam

    CybIam

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  35. coshea

    coshea

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    Just came here for the same reason, my apps have been removed from Google Play. There were created in Unity 2017 LTS and I can't easily upgrade them due to plugins not being supported on newer versions.

    I actually do use Unity analytics in my games, to give me crash data etc, but it seems like even if I remove all of this, Play won't allow my apps because of a bug in Unity
     
  36. dondon

    dondon

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    Google is actively removing apps now.... not only blocking updates.
     
    Alima-Studios likes this.
  37. tinyworker

    tinyworker

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    Yes same here, 8 of our apps where removed today. Same reason.
     
    Alima-Studios likes this.
  38. CanisLupus

    CanisLupus

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    Can confirm, they just removed another app of ours from the store, this time without any warning...
     
    Alima-Studios likes this.
  39. ihgyug

    ihgyug

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    Same here...and yes, with 0 warnings.
     
    Alima-Studios likes this.
  40. Alima-Studios

    Alima-Studios

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    3 apps removed , 0 warnings
     
    zanatos90 likes this.
  41. tinyworker

    tinyworker

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  42. tinyworker

    tinyworker

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    We already wrote Google if we get our Apps online again till the new Unity versions are out, lets see.
     
  43. Alima-Studios

    Alima-Studios

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    is 2020.1.0b11 free of this issue ?
     
  44. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    No.
     
  45. CL-bburrage

    CL-bburrage

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    Ditto-- we've had 6 out of 52 apps removed from the Play Store as of June 18th but soon it will be all of them as they are on 2017 LTS or 2018 LTS.

    @JuliusM Since this Google change happened on April 16th, is it possible to make this patch available to 2017 LTS since the Google change was before the end of LTS on April 20th?

    We are working with Unicef, UNESCO, World Bank, and UNHCR to use our apps in response to the pandemic to allow children to learn while out of school and they are getting pulled.

    Thank you.
     
  46. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Sorry, Unity really likes data.
     
  47. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    If you have Analytics enabled, it is recommended that you disable Analytics and attempt to publish again. If you are using Unity 2017, you'll also want to disable HW Stats in the Player Settings. If you are using IAP (which requires Analytics), then you would want to disable Analytics at runtime with the following code:

    https://docs.unity3d.com/ScriptReference/RuntimeInitializeOnLoadMethodAttribute.html

    Analytics.initializeOnStartup = false;
    Analytics.enabled = false;
    PerformanceReporting.enabled = false;
    Analytics.limitUserTracking = false;
    Analytics.deviceStatsEnabled = false;

    To confirm that you are not sending any data, please use Charles Proxy to confirm. There is a handy CharlesProxy.unitypackage attached to this article so you don't need to export the project to Android Studio, and is provided as-is. It will allow you to more easily use Charles Proxy with newer Android devices. Remove the package prior to release.

    https://support.unity3d.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002917683-Using-Charles-Proxy-with-Unity
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
    CL-bburrage likes this.
  48. mbowen89

    mbowen89

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    Google is somehow seeing what API is being used correct? If you disable something at runtime, Google will still think you are possibly using API causing the violation, won't they?
     
  49. CL-bburrage

    CL-bburrage

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    @JeffDUnity3D Thank you, Jeff. We'll try the HW Stats fix for the 2017 LTS apps and report back. In 2018 LTS apps, we disabled Unity Analytics since we don't use it but that got rejected while we were trying to figure out the issues on our own. It looks like the issue will be solved though in the next LTS 2018 push which looks like a release tomorrow (June 19th)?

    We don't use IAP. All our apps are free to use as we're a non-profit.
     
  50. bz_apps

    bz_apps

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    @JeffDUnity3D Are all these values correct? I thought if you have IAP, you still need to enable Analytics and we should turn on limitUser tracking. Im currently using different settings from another post you are involved with regarding IAP and Analytics.

    I guess my question is, if i set all of the above, will my IAP system still work.

    limitUserTracking seems like it should be set to true just to be safe.

    Also we have had 4 apps pulled with more to come i guess :(
     
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