As part of the Google User Data policy update in April 2022, the advertising identifier may not be connected to persistent device identifiers (for example, SSAID, MAC address, IMEI, and so on) for any advertising purpose. The advertising identifier may only be connected to personally-identifiable information with the explicit consent of the user.
MoEngage complies with the guidelines mentioned under Google Play Developer Program Policy and has built industry-standard APIs in the SDKs which enable you to opt-in of personalization using advertising ID only after explicit consent from the user.
The details about the data privacy requirements stated in Google Play Developer Program policies and recommendations on how to comply with them while using MoEngage are described as follows. Using these policies keeps your app in good standing on Google Play and keeps your users protected.
What is the Policy?
The Android Advertising ID (AAID) or Google Advertising Identifier (GAID) is a unique, user-resettable ID for advertising, provided by Google Play services. As part of the Google Play services update in April 2022, the advertising identifier can be connected to personally-identifiable information or associated with any persistent device identifier only after taking explicit consent of the user.
The best practices for working with Android identifiers, mention that you connect the advertising identifier to personally-identifiable information only after taking explicit consent of the user.
The impact is that all Android apps listed on the Google Play store are affected. If you are generating persistent device identifiers and mapping them with AAID and not taking adequate consent from the user in accordance with User Data policy depending on your data needs and user flows, Google Play Console will not allow you to post new versions of your app from August end.
How does it affect my app?
MoEngage SDK uses a Device ID (persistent device identifier) to uniquely identify the user to deliver personalized content and associates this to AAID if allowed by the app.
AAID is one of the device attributes used by MoEngage to improve accuracy on:
- Accurate identification of reachable devices for sending push notifications. If the user opts out of AAID tracking, this may lead to an increased number of users reachable using push notifications
- Tracking re-installs for users over time. If the user opts out of AAID tracking, this may lead to re-installs being tracked as new installs.
If AAID is passed to MoEngage SDK without proper consent, you may receive this warning from the Google Play team
Your app includes SDK
com.moengage:moe-android-sdk or an SDK that one of your libraries depends on, which collects personal or sensitive data that includes but is not limited to Advertising ID identifiers that may not be linked to other personal and sensitive user data or resettable device identifiers as described in the User Device policy.
This is only a warning and has no impact on your app’s User experience or its Play Store listing till the end of August 2022. We've seen our customers getting different dates, please check the email you've received from google for the exact date for your app. You can take this time to ensure compliance with the Google Play store guidelines by implementing the solutions recommended below.
Enabling Advertising ID tracking with MoEngage SDK
For MoEngage SDK versions 12.1.00 and later
With Android SDK version 12.1.00 released in April 2022, we have added required APIs and support for enabling tracking the given identifiers only after the user’s consent. For more information, refer to the developer documentation on Enabling Advertising ID tracking.
MoEngage SDK with the use of this method has been reviewed and approved by the Google Play team.
For support on other frameworks apart from Android native, we would be providing similar methods to enable tracking AAID with our new SDK versions on these frameworks planned to be released by 31st July 2022.
For MoEngage SDK versions 12.0.00 and earlier
MoEngage SDKs versions 12.0.00 and lower track advertising identifier by default and maps it against the persistent identifier. The mapping is against the latest User data Policy.
MoEngage strongly recommends that you update to the latest version for ease of opt-in and opt-out of tracking AAID.
What if I cannot update the SDK to the latest version right now?
If you receive a warning and are not able to immediately upgrade your MoEngage SDK and enable opt-in tracking properly, you can opt out of tracking device identifiers on MoEngage SDK while initializing the SDK. To enable tracking again after taking the consent from the user you would need to re-initialize the SDK with all the required configurations. For more information, refer to the developer documentation.
This is not a recommended method as this would require reinitializing MoEngage SDK and any previous initialization configurations will be discarded.
In addition to this, if there are any other queries around Google play user data policies, you can always reach out to your MoEngage Customer Success Manager or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
As mentioned in the Best practices for working with Android identifiers, you should connect the advertising identifier to personally-identifiable information only after taking explicit consent of the user.