Google forcing independent developers to publish their home addresses on the Play Store

by: Gary SimsSeptember 19, 2014
921

google logo (2) Brionv Google has published an announcement inside its developer portal informing all app developers that as of September 30th it will be mandatory for them to supply a physical address, and that this address will be visible to every Google Play Store user. In other words Google is forcing independent developers to publish their home addresses on the Play Store.

The privacy issues around this are enormous. It is understandable that big game studios who have dozens of employees and a nice suite of offices won’t have an issue with publishing their address. They are probably a Incorporated company of some kind and they have a register business address. But what about independent developers? They have neither a office or an official business address, all they have is their home address.

I can sell items on eBay without eBay needing to publish my physical address on its site. How is it that Google needs to trample all over the privacy rights of indie developers?

According to Google it will be mandatory to provide a physical address. Developers who don’t provide a physical address could have their apps removed from the Play Store. This is true draconian, almost communistic thinking by Google. As an indie app developer I have no problem with Google having my address. It has my banking information (to send me payments) and knowing my address isn’t an issue, in fact it makes good sense to verify the author of an app. But the moment that information gets published on the Play Store for every Tom, Dick, Harry and would-be stalker to find then that is a different matter.

Also notice that Google is expressly asking for a physical address. It isn’t asking for a postal address. At least with a postal address indie app developers can protect the sanctuary of their homes by renting a postal box or by using some kind of forwarding service. But Google want to publish your physical address, your actual real address, your home, your house, for everyone to see.

The exact wording of Google’s announcement is as follows:

google-developer-address-annoucement

Google is justifying its request by saying that the physical address is needed to “comply with with consumer protection laws.” I am no expert, but I can sell items on eBay without eBay needing to publish my physical address on its site. How is it that Google, which is selling digital goods and not physical ones, needs to trample all over the privacy rights of indie developers?

At the moment there seems to be little that developers can do. Personally I have contacted Google, as an indie developer, and reported my outrage at its request. If Google force this through I will likely remove my apps from the Play Store. The only tiny, sliver of light in this terrible situation is that the need for a physical address only applies to paid apps or apps with in-app purchases. One way out for me, and for other indie developers, is to move all my apps over to being advertising supported.

What do you think? Has Google gone mad?

  • Sean

    Might be a bit much, but I’ve had issues with apps and couldn’t even find an email address. I feel safer knowing there’s an address in play. I can sleep better knowing that I have tangible information on a developer whose app I’ve invested my money in. Especially with regards to IAP’s.
    Just my opinion.

    • Publishing the developer’s email address is fine, but why do you need the home address. If you live in the USA and the developer lives in Venezuela, what good is the address for you?

      • Doug

        It seems like a legal problem. If someone wants to sue a developer, just having the email isn’t sufficient to serve them notice of a lawsuit. Under the current system, they would have to somehow get the address from Google and then initiate the suit, but if the addresses are already posted then Google removes itself from the process and limits its liability. Additionally, consumer protection laws are written to make bringing lawsuits easier for consumers and it’s possible that having to go through the extra step of retrieving the address from Google could be seen as a violation of those.

        As one last point, as a developer, however large, you’re acting as a commercial enterprise so, while it’s important to protect an individual’s right to privacy, it doesn’t make sense to shield a commercial entity in the same way.

        • Android Developer

          Google already has the real address of the developer, so it’s not that impossible to sue.

        • 1) I am not a commercial entity.

          2) If you want to sue me and you live in say Canada and I live in France, how does having my address help. You going to start an international law suit over $0.99.

          3) Related to 2) Google has the power to refund the money, remove the app, block the developer and if need be release the developer’s address when requested to do so by law enforcement. It doesn’t need to be published on the Play Store for billions of users to see.

          • Doug

            1) You’re developing a product, marketing a product, selling a product, and contracting with a distributor (Google) to deliver the product. The only difference between you and large developers is the number of employees and your decision to not incorporate, neither of which afford you more legal protections.

            2) Probably not, but keep in mind that many of these apps provide services which can result in significantly larger problems than just asking for a refund.

            3) The suggestion that consumers have to initiate a separate legal process against Google is exactly what I was talking about. Google probably wants no part of that fight and it’s not fair to consumers to add an additional step to the process that they normally wouldn’t have just because it’s a small developer.

            I will say that if this really is Google’s concern, they didn’t need to go this far. Simply making addresses of developers available upon request would resolve all the problems I’m talking about as well as create a log of people who request information on individual developers. Having that log would prevent people from randomly happening upon it and messing with developers, and if someone did do something it would narrow down the search for the responsible person significantly.

          • So basically you are saying, if you are indie developer then you are a business which means you should give out your home address. The idea of a hobbyist, a enthusiast, does not feature in your thinking. As a result Google (and people like you) will act to deter all hobbyist, and enthusiast developers. Brilliant idea.

          • Rob Triggs

            Perhaps this is Google’s intention (sort of). Maybe they are hoping to deter less professional outfits from publishing apps with in-app purchases. Or at least trying to make developers (both pro and hobbyist) more accountable when they sell something to other people.

            I see (and somewhat agree with) the logic that if you’re selling something then you’re going into business, and you should therefore provide ways for your customers to contact you and hold you accountable.

            That being said, publishing an address is not that helpful these days and deterring small and hobbyist developers is going to ruin innovation too. On balance, I agree that this is a bad idea.

          • n900mixalot

            Yes. You are a “merchant” under the Uniform Commercial Code Article 2, who is selling a good. It is going to be a deterrent, yes. But that’s the law.

            Contact your local representative to express your concern as soon as possible.

          • My local representative? Uniform Commercial Code Article 2? What are you talking about, I don’t live in the USA.

          • n900mixalot

            Yes, your local representative. Wherever you live, you’re bound to have a local government representative, so instead of complaining you should contact them to see what they can do about it.

            This is the dark side of what happens when you give everyone a free license to run a business; i.e., independent app developers.

          • So you think a “local representative” from an Asian country or from a country in the Balkans has power to influence what Google is doing in the USA? I think you over estimate their power!

      • sean

        The address would probably help with expediting legal action against an uncooperative app developer who has stolen information or money.

        IAP’s have been a bitch for parents and unsuspecting consumers that are just acquainting themselves in the world of smartphones.

    • Tony

      Yes!

  • Android Developer

    Is there any way to get around of it? any loophole?
    I don’t want to publish my home address…

    • As I mention in the last paragraph, the only tiny, sliver of light is that the need for a physical address only applies to paid apps or apps with in-app purchases. One way out is to make apps that are advertising supported.

      • Android Developer

        I meant something more than completely change your app or leaving Google Play Store…

        If you wish, I’ve made a StackOverflow and a post on Google-Groups about it. Not sure if that can help, but it’s worth the trial:
        http://stackoverflow.com/q/25929139/
        https://code.google.com/p/android-developer-preview/issues/detail?id=1340

        Cast your vote there, and maybe provide other ideas..

        • MasterMuffin

          Simply put fake address?

          • Android Developer

            I don’t know. Quite risky. If they find it out, they might never let you publish an app again, and you’ll have to create a new account and start from zero popularity…

          • MasterMuffin

            Nah how would they find out?

          • Android Developer

            It’s Google. They have the technology and a lot of data.
            They already have tons of addresses (Google Maps) and even how they look like (Street View).
            They can make a scan on what the developers write , vs the addresses that exist in his country (or in the world).
            If something seems fishy, their employess can check it out and then report about it.

            Not only that, but competitors can report about fake addresses, so that your app wil be removed…

          • MasterMuffin

            But something harder to find out like if you live in an apartment house, give the address few stores above/below. Or if you don’t, give the address of someone on the same street or some street close

          • Android Developer

            Well what if they compare this address and the one of they use for the payments , and find out they have different street number , for example ?

          • MasterMuffin

            :S Business address? Yea fake address is a stupid idea

          • Android Developer

            yes. Sorry :(

          • Sunny

            Best would be to put your work address. That will be fine

          • Android Developer

            hmmm… maybe.

          • jeffrey carré

            “competitors can report about fake addresses, so that your app wil be removed…” this can also be true for real address. If you are an Independent you probably wont have a fixed location. Google would have to give you a way to sue the competitor if that is even possible….

          • Android Developer

            A real addrss can be found. A fake one cannot.
            I’m not an independant. I work at a real office , but I’ve also made my own tiny app on my spare time.

        • Tjaldid

          Create a fake/real publisher?

        • Android Developer
  • Luka Mlinar

    This seems wrong.

    • Please do, we need Google to understand that this is not acceptable.

      • Android Developer

        Here:
        https://play.google.com/apps/publish/

        But it’s for developers, so I have no idea how others can use it. Maybe through “Help” and one of their ways there to contact via Email/phone.

        • Luka Mlinar

          Hell no. I’m writing a real letter. Non of this form BS.

          • Android Developer

            This could take too much time, but it’s a fight for a good cause, so I say go for it.
            Hope that together we can succeed.

          • George
          • Android Developer

            Thank you.
            Have such petition websites ever helped? For Google and/or other things?

          • George

            They have been successful in certain petitions. But we can always try :)

          • Android Developer

            Voted. Thanks for sharing. Hope it works.
            I’ve found something is wrong in the petition, that says that P.O. box is ok, but it’s actually not. Google doesn’t allow to use P.O. box. They want the real address to be published.

          • ShaunTheSheep

            They want my address too. What is it with you people?

          • George

            What is with us? Do you think that showing a developer’s physical address will help to protect consumer interests? And if so, how? For small app developers that work on apps from home and don’t have another address to fill in, they can only fill in their home address. And that’s a major issue.

          • MasterMuffin

            What year is it? :D

          • Sunny

            Send multiple professional letters :p

          • Luka Mlinar

            One will do. Right now i’m having a hard time finding someone who actually owns a working printer. :/

  • If the US or other country’s law required physical addresses to be published, then Apple, Microsoft and other services like eBay should follow this, but I don’t see them doing it. Google is going too far with this.

    Imagine an angry customer that has no reason to complain about your paid app but lives on your city/town and knocks on your door to get at you for whatever reason. This is wrong in so many ways…

    • SolarShane13

      Funny fact: Apple and Microsoft already follow other countries laws. How? By being the direct seller of the application instead of the developer. That’s why you don’t see the developer’s name on your credit card statement when using the iOS/Mac App Store(s).

  • Ben

    Sounds like it is just for paid or in-app-purchase apps. Maybe they are trying to make more people develop free apps?

    • Android Developer

      Well I have a free app and donations within it, which only remove the ads.
      Why should I publish my address?

    • pickule

      Then lot of dev will only target Android platform for ad-based version of their app, while publishing their paid version on other app store (apple, ms, amazon, etc).

      It will be very sad moment for android.

  • Bone

    Sounds harsh but it’s also offering advanced protection for users, and ultimately better trust for genuine developers such as yourself. Too many apps ask for personal information they have no business looking for, or for our money without returning quality services, and they can exist under current terms and conditions. If all apps must have a person or company behind them liable for lawsuit without having to go through Google first, it will be a huge no-go for parasites who I’m sure you quality developers hate for lowering the Play Store’s level of trust. Even though I understand your concerns, in the end, we benefit and you benefit too, and you must understand as content or service provider where you can make profit, you entered the same area as if you opened a store on 5th avenue and there are extensive laws. I don’t entire like how eBay kinda-goes around these laws.

    • Android Developer

      If there is a problem, one can contact Google which already has the real address of the developer.
      What good could it be to publish the home address of the developer?

      • Exactly, and Google has the right to refund the money and even remove the app from the store. In fact it is Google who has the real power to police app developers, not the users.

    • The difference is that if I open a store on 5th avenue that isn’t my house, it is a business address. Do you go into a store on 5th avenue and ask for the manger’s home address?

      • Yes, and Google is asking for your business address, not for your home address.

        • Google already has my home address, I don’t mind that, it also has my bank account details. But why does it need to publish my home address on the Play Store.

          • You seem to repeat yourself and you’re slightly off topic. I said they’re asking for your business address, not your home address.

          • I don’t have a business address. Nor do thousands of other independent app developers.

          • Where I live you are required to have a business address anyway, so this doesn’t change things that much.

          • And is that free? And it isn’t the case where I live.

          • It depends. Some people use their home address so then it is. And it’s made public by the government so if anybody wants to find you, it’s not that hard. That’s why I said it doesn’t change much.

          • Doesn’t change much for YOU. These issues are bigger than just the fact that you already have a business address.

          • Bone

            You don’t understand, many of you just don’t.

            In the country Google and Google Play Store operate, there are laws you must follow, it’s as simple as that. Such laws cover things like legally opening businesses and protecting customers using those businesses. It doesn’t matter if you are Google itself or John Doe living in your momma’s basement looking to turn a buck via Google, if you enter the market, which you do with your app, there are laws you must follow, and in Google’s home country such laws ask for your business address. It’s the same as your home address? Tough luck kiddo, in democracy the same law applies to you and to a corporation, if you don’t like the laws where Google operates, you can always bring your business to different country using a different way of earning a buck.

          • beyond

            I feel there should be an exception in the case where you create a product from the same location where you reside. Luckily for business and corporation the place where the product is developed remains detached and separate from the place where the workers actually live. There should be a distinction made and I feel that they haven’t done a very good job of doing that.

          • SolarShane13

            If there are laws, then Google, once again, could fix this by becoming the direct seller of applications, just like Apple and Microsoft. That’s how Apple and Microsoft don’t have this insane requirement.

          • Mike

            You’re a moron. Most app developers work from home and not in some sort of corporate office

          • Thanks man, that was really kind of you. But I never said “corporate office”. You can use a cowork space or something like in incubator. I’m a freelancer and I work from home, but my business address is somewhere else. It was just easier for the paperwork because I rent the place where I live.

  • It’s only mandatory for payed apps. Now I’m not sure how things work in other parts of the world, but where I live you need to have an office address on record for this kind of thing anyway. Now if you happen to use your home address, then it really sucks.

    • Android Developer

      It’s this way for free apps too, if they offer in-app-billing.

      • For me in-app-billing is the same thing because you have to set up a merchant account for it.

  • workhorse

    “If you [live somewhere] that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn ‘t be [living there] in the first place.” — Eric Schmidt (sorta)

    • As I act of leadership I suggest Eric Schmidt publishes his home address on the Play Store.

  • Nua

    There’s lot of rage among indie developer concerning this Google decision.
    at the moment choices are:
    – Go to other app store (bye google).
    – Find physical address for rent (po box or something like that).
    – Join bigger company to publish your app.

  • The simple solution to this is to establish a business address. For a small amount of money you can take on a “Key man” office or service that has a physical address and all they do is answer calls or accept mail for you. In fact, you can even do this at some UPS or other “business” type stores. You end up using their physical address with a “suite” number. It’s an easy solution.

    • I just checked the prices on something like that in my country, it costs the equivalent of $400 per year. So now to be an indie developer you need to spend $400 a year just to keep the address of your family home off the Internet. That isn’t a “simple solution.”

      • $400 a year is nothing if you are actually in some form of a business. If that expense is too much, it’s probably best to just pull your app.

        • But that is the point, I am an indie developer, an enthusiast, a hobbyist, I am not in it as a business. Indie developers write thousands of apps for niche markets that are valuable for that group of people but they are never going to make more than a few bucks from it. So you are suggesting that unless you can be successful you shouldn’t write apps. Brilliant idea!

        • JayMars84

          Complete nonsense. I’m shocked at the stupidity of that statement.

        • Android Developer

          Most indie apps don’t start from 400$ on the beginning, and such a thing can make them stay away from developing the app (since it’s a risk of loss of money).

        • SolarShane13

          $400 a year is nothing? That’s complete bullshit! I guess you don’t realize that most “indie” devs make pocket change, hardly enough to pay off that $400.

          So, your brilliant suggestion is for us indie devs to go broke? Screw you and screw Google.

          • ukjb

            You’re not an indie Dev. You’re just a troll here to stir up shit and convert everyone to iOS

          • SolarShane13

            How the fuck do you know whether or not I’m an indie dev? Oh, how do you not know if I’m actually trying to convert everyone to Windows Phone? Hm?

            Yeah, and you claim I’m the troll? LOL no.

  • MicroSD

    Google you are doing it wrong!

  • JayMars84

    I can easily see this alienating a lot of the indie developers who actually make Android unique. You’ll be left with a platform that just gets the big corporate apps slower than iOS. This is a huge mistake.

    • beyond

      I hope it happens. Google needs to crash and burn with the current mentality they are developing..

  • BrianS

    An independent developer needs to be registered with their state anyway. And most (probably all) states require you to publish your physical address, home or not. Developers providing their apps for free would not have to register with the state, but the same arguments of accountability would mean that Google isn’t being unreasonable to make you provide the address. In other words, you’re making a big deal out of nothing.

    • Android Developer

      How can an Ebay user sell real stuff without showing everyone its home address ?

    • Independent “self-employed” people do not need to publish their addresses publicly. They may need to be registered with “the state” for tax purposes, but they don’t need to publish their addresses on one of the top websites in the world for millions of users to see. In other words this is a big deal and I doubt you understand the issue fully.

  • ShaunTheSheep

    Where does it say “home address”?

    • Android Developer

      They ask for your real address, and in case of indie developers and apps that were made at home (or spare time), this is the home address…

    • Indie app developers generally only have one address, their home address, therefore by default Google are asking for their home address. For an app development studio it isn’t a problem, it will have a business address. That isn’t true of indie developers.

  • John Johnson

    Good God, AA. WTH?

    No. You are not required to supply your *HOME* address. The headline is a blatant lie. It does *not* have to be where you *live* – it can be a PO, a place of business, or a number of things even I haven’t thought of yet.

    Retailers have never been able to hide from their customers in the past – why should app-store digital sales be any different?

    • Android Developer

      It can’t be a PO (plus it costs money anyway). They ask for your real address, and in case of indie developers and apps that were made at home (or spare time), you don’t have a choice and need to put your home address…

    • I am sorry that you can’t see the issues here, but Google clearly states that you need provide a physical address, not a postal address etc. Even if PO boxes could be used, most indie developers don’t have a PO box, that is why they are indie developers. I personally don’t have a PO box, to rent one would cost in excess of $400 per year. Therefore Google are forcing me to spend $400 or publish my home address on Google Play.

  • Keith Ho

    It’s a great move on Google’s part. There are so many junk apps and worse, harmful apps that just data mine the users.

    • duffyhatesyou

      Except all the data mining apps are free (the flashlight scam, Google Now, etc)… and those apps can get away with it still.

      Apps where users find value enough to pay for them (like donate versions) now require a developer give an address… that’s bad news for good devs.

    • gils001

      Then that’s Google’s responsibility. Google should have a much more extensive process for approving apps in the app store. They shouldn’t put good, hardworking developers at risk.

    • SolarShane13

      Nope.

      Google created this situation by not manually reviewing apps in the first place. Once I hated that Apple reviewed apps. Now I fully understand why they do.

  • Kasi Viswanathan

    omg

  • I gotta laugh at the indignation here. If you’re getting your underwear all bunched up over this rule, I’ve only got one thing to say: Welcome to the business world.

    Don’t like having your home address online? That’s neat. I don’t like paying a “business registration fee” just because my 100% virtual business exists in the jurisdiction of particular city. Same goes for the state I live in, which charges me fees just to be incorporated (a legal designation that exists largely to line the state’s coffers, near as I can tell). Then there’s the fact that my business data is freely available to anyone and everyone, so that people call all day long offering me help with marketing (which is funny, considering that’s what we do), credit card processing, etc.

    Not to mention the non-profits that call and ask if I’ll support the local whatever.

    Then, there’s the fact that while *I* have to do all this to run my business legally, there’s a bunch of nerds working out of their basements who skirt all the laws, pretend to be in the same business I’m in, and go to great lengths to obscure their location. Maybe they’re in my neighborhood, and maybe they’re in Brazil. Who the hell knows.

    But really, I laugh because this is the easiest problem in the world to solve. Rent a mailbox at one of those mailboxes places for 90 days. Give Google that address. Then drop the box. Might cost you $50, and as far as Google (and the post office) are concerned, that’s a physical address.

    • I am sorry but you are wrong. I am not skirting any laws. I pay taxes on the app revenue but I don’t need to be incorporated. Self-employed plumbers, carpenters or electricians don’t need to post their addresses on ANY public websites. They are private individuals who pay their taxes as self-employed people. I don’t really understand what you are talking about.

      Also Google specifically ask for a physical address not a postal address like a PO box. I have investigated the cost of a PO box in my country and it is the equivalent of $400 per year, not $50.

      • PO Box? No. Get a box at a UPS store (aka “mailboxes etc). I’ve had one – it looks like a physical address and it was never challenged the 2+ years I used it as my business address.

        Also, re: your comment about plumbers, carpenters, etc., Google Local, Yelp, etc. all require an address of some kind. If they’re licensed professionals, their info is available in some database as well.

        I appreciate the irritation, but it’s misplaced. Google is bringing their marketplace in line with just about every marketplace in the world.

        • SolarShane13

          Which costs money! Why are you people telling us to throw away the pocket change we make?

          There’s a reason we chose the Play Store: It only costs a ONE TIME FEE of $25, meaning that even by making pocket change, we could recoup that loss. Now you’re telling us to “oh, pay a recurring fee!”.

          Boy, it sure must be nice to have money grow on trees.

          • Ugly Shane

            Unfortunately I think he summed it up. Welcome to the business world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m outraged :( I can’t afford to buy a second address and I only make pocket change, but what he is saying is factually correct. This is an artificial barrier to entering the business world. Its intent is to keep people out. It sucks, but I had to laugh when he “welcomed us to the business world”, because that is exactly what this shit is. Don’t hate this guy for playing by a different set of rules and not realizing we’re not all in the same game. If I was making a profit I wouldn’t have any qualms getting a second address, but I’d also be incorporating and doing a bunch of other paperwork. The only real effect this has is to keep indie devs out, while favoring already established business. This is good for big studios and bad for the little guy. Also, it irritates me the way people assume its the little guy who is screwing with the consumer. I’m willing to bet it is well established business who is routinely defrauding the customer, not some guy trying to make a buck off his latest personal software dev project.

  • ukjb

    i have a feeling (hoping) that this was kind of a foresight. the physical address thing was probably an attempt to mitigate the bad apples from creating fake and malicious apps. and the indie devs happen to fall into the same category, unfortunately. i can’t imagine this will persist once google realizes how many popular indie apps fall into this category of being removed.

    • SolarShane13

      Actually moderate the Play Store? Google created this mess, so Google should be the one to clean it up!

      Android is only going to suffer more “app gap” syndrome. Oh, most (if not all) malicious/fake apps are free.

      • ukjb

        Go troll somewhere else… Yes it is “Google’s fault” and I think they are already trying to clean it up… That’s what I just said

        • SolarShane13

          No, they are not “cleaning it up”. They’re putting that burden on us developers. Oh, FYI: Most malware and malicious apps are already free, genius. This insane requirement doesn’t apply to free apps and free apps with advertising.

          Oh, in case you didn’t read my post, perhaps Google should actually start manually reviewing their store? Gee, if Nintendo, Sony, Apple, Microsoft, Steam, etc can do it, so can Google.

          Have fun on an app-less platform.

  • jeffrey carré

    One can still use a fake address … no? even in the remote countryof Avalon ;)

  • Mike Meyers

    So would it not be simple enough to create a PO Box for a few dollars a month and just use that address?? I can’t see this being a issue for developers.

  • Robin Ricardo

    Easy fix. Indies, take your apps off. Google will poop their pants and reverse the decision.

    • SolarShane13

      Better yet: evacuate to iOS.

      • Robin Ricardo

        Unsubcribe

  • gils001

    Wow what the fuck? Do they want a mass exodus of developers? That’s like saying “we want to put good, hardworking developers in danger”

  • Sal

    No, just no. I like what Google does in most things regarding Android but they just crossed the line with this. We all need to take action and let Google know they cannot carry forth with this.

  • Don Gemus

    It says “a physical address” not ‘your physical address’.

    • SolarShane13

      Then what do us HOME BASED INDIE DEVELOPERS put, genius?

      • Don Gemus

        It’s “Gemus”. Put 666 Shadowbrook Lane

  • wvcadle

    Grammar. Good God, grammar! I had to stop reading halfway through.

    • Abhinandan

      ??

  • G5577

    -WARNING- Some great Android games that aren’t updated in years may be wiped out from the Play Store.

  • ash71ish
  • Barry Smith

    I heard something about UK Law requiring website owners to provide an actual address of product/service sellers a long time ago, so this is probably that. Might seem bad, but if it’s law, it’s law.

    • SolarShane13

      Which doesn’t affect Apple or Microsoft! Those two are the direct sellers of applications, meaning the “developer” actually isn’t selling anything, thus the developers get a paycheck FROM Apple/Microsoft.

      That’s why MS/Apple don’t have this requirement.

      Also, explain eBay please.

  • Pedro

    As an indie developer myself, I’m holding on with my current project to see the outcome of this nonsense. This is the worst face-spitting against privacy I’ve seen so far. I stood up for Android almost since the beginning, but if this actually happens, then it’s going to be the turning point for me and I will fully focus on iOS. Apps are more profitable there anyway. I will not be a part of this, so, Google either changes this policy or I will simply take my apps out of the Play Store and cancel everything I can that is related to Google, including gmail. So they are actually turning into that evil company now, aren’t they?

  • strauzo

    Should be this th reason ? https://www.google.com#q=Double+Irish+with+a+Dutch+Sandwich
    Search this on google to understand the real story. Why the address of developer and not the address of Google like what are doing Apple and Microsoft as workaround ? Who really sell is Google not the developer. Say otherwise is just a refinement of the “Double+Irish+with+a+Dutch+Sandwich”

  • dhinged

    Which consumer protection laws? There’s better solutions than this. In fact, if Google only required the address and would verify it rather than post it publicly, they’ll get more valid addresses!

  • Brian

    I am seeing developers that are actually using a PO BOX, instead of their home or office address. That said, there is really no need to use your physical address at all if others are using a PO BOX for their Developer Address in Google Play.

  • Arse

    I just put the street office of my post office.

  • MSmith79

    2 years later and it’s still the case. Hope they reconsider soon. Even just making it harder would be better…like “click here to request developer’s address” and 48 hours later they receive an email with it. No need to just show it to everyone that visits the page though.