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Google play Violation of Advertising ID

Discussion in 'Android' started by mistergreen2016, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. George-Dolbier

    George-Dolbier

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    This is still an issue 2019.1.4f1. I just had an app rejected. I filed a bug report (for all the good it will do). My app has no interactions at all, it is a simple piece of virtual art. I was using a time honored practice of building release in a fresh install, and virgin project.
    The problem I have is that The dependency manager should remove all code that is not being used in an app. In other words, release builds are not "release" and still have untested, & unused code. creating opportunities for security violations, & trojan. Google, or Apple could simply decide one day that all apps made with Unity are a security risk and take 'em all down.
    and for posterity:
    ------------------------
    Hi developers at Smooth Curves Interactive,

    After review, Diagnosis, com.SmoothCurvesInteractive.DiagnosisVR, has been removed from Google Play due to a policy violation. This app won’t be available to users until you submit a compliant update.

    Issue: 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 identifier, which is subject to a privacy policy requirement. If your app collects the Android advertising ID, you must provide a valid privacy policy in both the designated field in the Play Console, and from within the app.

    Next steps: Submit your app for another review

    1. Read through the Usage of Android Advertising ID and User Data policies, as well as the Developer Distribution Agreement, and make appropriate changes to your app. If you decide to collect sensitive user information, be sure to abide by the above policies, and include a link to a valid privacy policy on your app's store listing page and within your app.
    2. Make sure that your app is compliant with all other Developer Program Policies. Additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy violations.
    3. Sign in to your Play Console and submit the update to your app.
    Alternatively, you may opt-out of this requirement by removing any requests for sensitive permissions or user data.

    If approved, your app will again be available with all installs, ratings, and reviews intact.

    If you’ve reviewed the policy and feel this removal may have been in error, please reach out to our policy support team. One of my colleagues will get back to you within 2 business days.

    Thanks for helping us provide a clear and transparent experience for Google Play users.


    Regards,



    The Google Play Team

    --------------------------------------------
     
    Tx likes this.
  2. bbkyrs

    bbkyrs

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    Two days ago one of my apps got removed due to the same violation, that game was made with Unity5.5. I had to reinstall 5.5 in order to open my game correctly. My game never collects any data, or needs any special permission or access at all, and I deleted anything that's not essential to the gameplay, resumbitted the app to Google Play. A day later, I got an email saying my app has been reviewed and approved. I was relief, even though I have no clue what the problem really was.

    But happiness did not last. Two hours later another app of mine got removed, I got the same violation email from Google. And then several hours later, the previous re-approved app is removed again, and I once again received that exact same email. This is frustrating, does not make any sense. If there is a war currently between Google and Unity, please do tell, I mean.. seriously, my games have been on Google Play for years, and now they are kicking us out like this.
     
    Tx likes this.
  3. Tx

    Tx

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    This is bad. It feels like having a huge sword of Damocles on your head. What if an old client's application get removed and he thinks its your fault and wants you to do all this updating for free after years? It's getting ridicolus and extremely unprofessional.
     
  4. NeatWolf

    NeatWolf

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    Same here, got a 2-5M downloads app with 4.7 rating removed with NO warning at all.
    "Issue: Violation of Usage of Android Advertising ID policy and section 4.8 of the Developer Distribution Agreement"

    Free, no ads, nothing. On-request GPS anonymous tracking for unlocking extra features when nearby certain areas.

    My guess is that before publishing someone enabled back the Crashlytics module and analytics as per test builds. Yet, no "sensible" info got collected during playtest, only anonymous data to track play time, scene changes, interactions, etc.

    Could it be the reason, @JeffDUnity3D?

    Now the company is panicking since, in turn, it is a client for a public national structure.

    Any clue?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  5. EpsilonSE

    EpsilonSE

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    Hello all, I wanted to update you all on a solution that worked for me, and has continued to work so far.

    My app was removed from the Google Play Store for similar problems and violations as you all have seen, and I have come across a solution that works because I have no ads, I do not monetize the app using ads, and I do not use Unity Analytics in the app whatsoever.

    I did NOT include a privacy statement because I no longer need one, since I am not collecting any data at all. No analytics, no ads, no data collection of any kind.

    After doing quite a bit of research, it appears that my problem was that Unity Analytics was collecting and sending basic device information in the background of my program. Some users have said that the best way to prevent this was to purchase the Premium version of Unity to shut this feature off, but many other users have said they have gotten limited success from it.

    What I've done is disable hardware statistics in player settings, modify the Unity Connect Settings asset, and attempt to deactivate analytics at run time. I realize that it is very likely that these steps are redundant, and maybe even optional, but I really wanted to make sure this problem didn't cause me to have my apps removed in the future.

    These are the steps I've taken:


    Disable Hardware Statistics in Player Settings:


    Purpose: I am attempting to prevent Unity from collecting information about the devices it's being used on, and sending that to Unity servers, which would require me to create a privacy statement.
    • In Unity, in the toolbar, go to File > Build Settings
    • In the Build Settings window, in the lower left-hand corner, click the "Player Settings..." button
    • The Inspector will open displaying the Player Settings
    • Select the "Android settings" tab in the Player Settings window if it has not already been selected
    • Select the "Other Settings" drop down
    • Under "Configuration", select the "Disable HW Statistics" checkbox, and make sure it is checked

    Manually Edit the Unity Connect Settings Asset.


    Purpose: I am attempting to force Unity not to initialize Unity Analytics at start up. Creating a privacy policy and an opt-out interrogative feature would be cumbersome and unnecessary.
    • Build your Unity Project
    • Once it has finished building, leave Unity open and do not close Unity
    • Enter into your file hierarchy (for example, this would be opening up Windows Explorer)
    • In your file hierarchy, navigate to the project location where your Unity project is saved.
      • This was defined by you when you first created the app.
      • The folder should be named after your project.
      • When you are in the correct folder you will see folders like "Assets", "Library", "Packages", "Logs", etc.
    • In the project location, open the "ProjectSettings" folder
    • Open the UnityConnectSettings.asset file
    • Change the following settings in the file, some items left intentionally blank:
    CrashReportingSettings:

    m_EventUrl:​

    UnityPurchasingSettings:

    m_Enabled: 0
    m_TestMode: 0​
    UnityAnalyticsSettings:

    m_Enabled: 0
    m_TestMode: 0
    m_InitializeOnStartup: 0​
    UnityAdsSettings:

    m_Enabled: 0

    m_InitializeOnStartup: 0
    m_TestMode: 0
    m_IosGameId: 0
    m_AndroidGameID: 0
    m_GameIds:
    AndroidPlayer: 0
    iPhonePlayer: 0
    tvOSPlayer: 0​
    m_GameId: 0​
    PerformanceReportingSettings:

    m_Enabled: 0​

    • Save the file
    • You may close Unity at your leisure.
    Disable all analytics at run-time:

    Purpose: I am attempting to prevent Unity from changing some of the previous connection settings during run time due to background process that are beyond my control.
    • Create a method which will be accessed at startup
      • I personally created a class which has a static method that is executed at the start up of any scene.
    • Write the following method:
    • Code (CSharp):
      1. public static void disableAnylitics()
      2.     {
      3.         UnityEngine.Analytics.Analytics.enabled = false;
      4.         UnityEngine.Analytics.Analytics.deviceStatsEnabled = false;
      5.         UnityEngine.Analytics.Analytics.initializeOnStartup = false;
      6.         UnityEngine.Analytics.Analytics.limitUserTracking = false;
      7.         UnityEngine.Analytics.PerformanceReporting.enabled = false;
      8.     }
    • In the event that Unity changed some of these values to true, re-setting them immediately will hopefully turn Unity Analytics off and prevent unwanted data collection

    If you read this suggestion, let me, and everyone else in the thread, know how it went. Again, it's worked for me so far, but I do not have any ad or analytics features in my app. It's been a month since I uploaded the newest version, and I've yet to get a complaint or violation from the store.
     
    Novack likes this.
  6. EpsilonSE

    EpsilonSE

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    I had a similar problem to you, NeatWolf. I was able to work out that it was definitely Unity Analytics sending some kind of data (I think hardware data) to Unity. Google Play wants that covered in a privacy document, but because I didn't want to make a privacy document, I figure out how to disable it. It's not too involved, and it's probably a little redundant, but I've had no issues with Google Play for the past month. I have no privacy statement either, which suggests that I truly may have fixed it.

    I listed my steps here: https://forum.unity.com/threads/google-play-violation-of-advertising-id.558010/page-2#post-4692782
     
  7. EpsilonSE

    EpsilonSE

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    Bbkyrs, I think I found a solution. I posted in the thread, here
     
  8. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

    Unity Technologies

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  9. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    The steps are correct?

    Can you please add sane defaults? Why is m_InitializeOnStartup: 1 for ads and analytics when I use neither ads nor analytics?

    Can we please have a simple "UNITY PLEASE DON'T SEND ANY STUFF" checkbox that actually works somewhere, instead of the current "Please check 10 different menus (because some settings enable themselves back on from time to time), edit a bunch of files manually, do a rain dance AND THEN STILL NOT BE SURE"
     
  10. EpsilonSE

    EpsilonSE

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  11. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    Okay, it may sound stupid, but how can I open it, since it's a binary file?..
     
  12. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    It’s not binary
     
  13. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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  14. MalyaWka

    MalyaWka

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    Read this or that.

    Didn't that help you?
     
  15. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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  16. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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  17. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    @EpsilonSE solution didn't help, my game still got removed from Google Play with the same reason:
     
  18. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    I received the same message from Google and putting in a privacy policy in the Google developer dashboard (and in the app) fixed it for me, so far anyway. Did you implement a privacy policy before resubmitting?
     
  19. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    I understand that it can fix my problem, but why should I do it, if I do not collect any data?
     
  20. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    Did you confirm with Charles Proxy ?
     
  21. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    I mean, I myself did nothing to collect it. I payed hell a lot of money for Unity licences and I honestly do not understand why it does something that I can not control and moreover something that brings loss to me. And when I'm here like seriously guys, just disable this, all I'm getting is the advice to implement some privacy policy that I'm obviously do not need and that will certainly mislead my users. GG.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  22. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    It would be good to confirm before drawing conclusions. If you have ANY Unity services enabled, data will likely be sent. And you can control it, if so.
     
  23. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    Well, I don't.
     
  24. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    Understood, a Charles capture would confirm.
     
  25. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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  26. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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  27. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    I did that right away. Now I reinstalled it, and did a several reboots - they are still red.
     
  28. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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  29. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    Yes, I did everything just like this guide suggests, but it's still "unknown>"
    Same.
     
  30. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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  31. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    As long as you rebooted and followed the steps in the link it should work as expected. I'm not aware of any SSL issues at our end, but it's possible. You can also check your UnityConnectSettings.asset file under /ProjectSettings.
     
  32. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    I did everything according to the guide above on this page, and this file hasn't been modified since.
    Are these not the resources you are looking for?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  33. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    @Dreamtale Sorry, I don't quite follow. I believe you forgot to include the contents of the UnityConnectSettings.asset file in your reply? The contents will also tell which services are enabled. We send several types of service requests to those endpoints, and would be good to know which services are enabled. Also, ensure HW Stats is not enabled.
     
  34. Dreamtale

    Dreamtale

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    No I didn't. Though, @EpsilonSE forgot to mention that you need to disable crash reporting:

    CrashReportingSettings:
    m_EventUrl:
    m_Enabled: 0

    Now my game doesn't send anything (it seems at least). Another matter why does Unity transmit Google advertisment ID in crash reporting? Or why Google thinks Unity does...

    (The game still doesn't work, but that's another thing.)
     
  35. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    Yep, all services. And it seems to be a canned message from Google.
     
  36. N1ghtrunner

    N1ghtrunner

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    I'm also having this issue on a SIMPLE game I published yesterday!

    @JeffDUnity3D - this is really an unacceptable state of affairs from UNITY. You guys need to get onto a solution ASAP because I don't want to have to do a S*** ton of additional work and manual file editing so I can get a Unity app to actually work on the Play Store.

    Sort it out!!!!!!
     
  37. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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  38. AndresDona

    AndresDona

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    @JeffDUnity3D ... In case there are no ads, IAP, Analytics, nothing ... What about GDRP? Do you have to be detailed in the privacy policy?
    The generator of "https://app-privacy-policy-generator.firebaseapp.com/" does not generate the section for GDRP.
    What does a privacy policy have to include for a game that has no ads, IAP, Analytics, etc.?
    Thanks.
     
  39. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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  40. AndresDona

    AndresDona

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  41. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    No, it was included for your review for additional information on GDPR.
     
  42. AndresDona

    AndresDona

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    Sorry, but I do not understand.
    If the game has no Ads, IAP, Analytics, nothing ... should something like this be added to the privacy policy ?:

    "Your Data Protection Rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you have certain data protection rights. XXXX aims to take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete or limit the use of your Personal Data.

    If you wish to be informed about what Personal Data we hold about you and if you want it to be removed from our systems, please contact us.

    In certain circumstances, you have the following data protection rights:

    The right to access, update or delete the information we have on you.Whenever made possible, you can access, update or request deletion of your Personal Data directly within your account settings section. If you are unable to perform these actions yourself, please contact us to assist you.

    The right of rectification. You have the right to have your information rectified if that information is inaccurate or incomplete.

    The right to object. You have the right to object to our processing of your Personal Data.

    The right of restriction. You have the right to request that we restrict the processing of your personal information.

    The right to data portability. You have the right to be provided with a copy of the information we have on you in a structured, machine-readable and commonly used format.

    The right to withdraw consent. You also have the right to withdraw your consent at any time where XXXX Limited relied on your consent to process your personal information.

    Please note that we may ask you to verify your identity before responding to such requests.

    You have the right to complain to a Data Protection Authority about our collection and use of your Personal Data. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority in the European Economic Area (EEA)"

    Thanks.
     
  43. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    If you have questions on GDPR, I provided a link to the information and an email address for more information.
     
    AndresDona likes this.
  44. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    We added something along the lines of:
    We disabled all data collection from Unity we could, but we cannot guarantee that no data collection happens from Unity and from our understanding of their privacy policy some data collection happens no matter what we do (and that goes for all Unity games).
    You can read their privacy policy here: Unity Privacy Policy (the relevant part is "I play a game built with Unity software, what should I know?")
     
  45. magician_creator

    magician_creator

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    If anyone have this problem yet, i found the solution.
     
  46. Sylker

    Sylker

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    It's very frustrating that I have to remove the Unity Services from my game since all I want is to use IAP but no Analytics. Going to seek other solution since everything I tried from this forum didn't work.
     
  47. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    Understood on your concerns, we are investigating. We are currently quite resource constrained so it may take some time, apologies on the delay.
     
  48. mistergreen2016

    mistergreen2016

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    I thought they made it so IAP requires Unity Services.
     
  49. JeffDUnity3D

    JeffDUnity3D

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    Yes, IAP requires Analytics currently.
     
  50. mistergreen2016

    mistergreen2016

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    Can you please make an API to turn off ID collection? I think you guys made a web interface for users to opt-out but it's really ugly & clunky to use. A simple line of code should do the job.
     
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