Google Play dev console adds field for developers' physical addresses

Google today revised the announcement in the Developer Console telling us all that starting tomorrow, Sept. 30, physical addresses will be required. Those addresses will be available on the app detail page in Google Play. The field appears to be live in the dev console, and you can add an address now.

Here's the deal:

Beginning September 30, 2014, to comply with consumer protection laws, you need to add a physical address to your Settings page. After you've added an address, it will be available on your app's detail page to all users on Google Play. If your physical address changes, make sure to update your information on your Settings page.If you have paid apps or apps with in-app purchases, as the seller of that content, it's mandatory to provide a physical address where you can be contacted. If you don't provide a physical address on your account, it may result in your apps being removed from the Play Store.

Google reminds us that the address is mandatory if you have in-app purchases or paid apps. (Our Mobile Nations apps are all free, and sure enough we're not required to add an address, even though we see the field to do so.)

We've seen many a headline recently claiming that developers would be forced to share their home addresses if they work from home or don't otherwise have a traditional workplace. But today's revision makes it pretty clear — a physical address is what's required. The words "home address" don't appear anywhere. Presumably a PO box or PMB will suffice (yes, we're aware of inconsistencies in the wording in some of Google's legalese) — they're "physical" addresses, after all. We're also not sure what'll happen if you fudge the whole thing and just list some random address. We're also not sure that we'd want to find out.

Anyhoo, it's live now. Time to add some digits.

More: Google Developer Distribution Agreement (opens in new tab); European Commission (pdf)

Phil Nickinson
45 Comments
  • If an app sucks, I'll bring the toilet paper and eggs
  • "Physical address where you can be contacted"
    Has google never heard of email? Posted via Android Central App
  • Can't show up at an email address with torches and pitchforks.
  • But you can send pictures of you holding pitch forks and torches. Posted via Android Central App
  • I think its not google, but the government that's mandating this.
  • Yeah that's what its really sounds like. Which I would think for many devs would suck. Posted via Android Central App
  • It's Actually a new law for Europe, Not the United States, However, Google to not be prejudice or what not, is making it a must for everyone. Use (Your Name) / C/O Delivery + (Your Local Post Office Address - on separate lines) Problem Solved, You can get mail forwarded and if they can find you it goes into a Holding pile and then eventually sent to an office that holds all undelivered mail , I'm sure if they send you any letters they will email you about them. Then you can just check your local Post office and look for your missing mail :) Enjoy!
  • What prevents them from using a bogus address?
  • Nothing I think, unless someone checks and reports them. Posted via Galaxy ace plus running Speedmod 2.5 with Xposed
  • They could start sending cards like they do to verify business listings in other Google services..
  • So I'm a bit confused about this statement from the Settings page in the Developer Console: "If you offer apps or in-app items for sale, you are required to provide a postal address under our developer terms and consumer protection laws;". I searched the latest developer terms & I cannot find any mention of "postal" or "physical" address. So given that it's not in the developer terms, can they really enforce this?
  • Here's one to use: Google Inc.
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    USA
    telephone: +1 650 253 0000
    fax: +1 650 253 0001
  • This ^^^ ! That's the address I'll put on my app and if they don't like eff them. Remove the app, and everyone loses. Congratulations Google. Way to step up for your dev community. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yes because, using fake addresses for a business or legal purpose is totally legal and you won't be breaking any laws.... I agree, great idea!
  • I'm a developer with apps in the store. There is no way I'm putting my home address out there for psychos to see. Obviously I have expensive equipment that I use to write apps. I don't feel like getting jacked. I will use a P.O. box however. Posted via Android Central App
  • What expensive equipment?
  • I for example have two laptops each worth $2000-3000 + music software and hardware (although a piano might be hard to steal) for making music for my games worth 10x that.
  • ...
  • @dchawk81: Because he creates apps and games out of thin air, amirite?
  • The thing is that I'm not running a business, there's something called independent developers that are getting screwed over with this move. I'm sure my situation is very similar to hundreds of thousands of other developers. I have a day-time job developing one Android app for a big company with 5+ million downloads that pays the bills. And I have a couple of apps that I did on my spare time that gets me around $200 a month in a good month and $80 maybe in a bad month. The cost and hassle of getting a PO Box or whatever is simply not worth and there's no way in hell that I'll open my personal home address where I live with my wife and my baby son to the internet. Couldn't care less if this or that or legal or what, there's no way in hell I'll do it.
  • I run business but from home and don't want my address for everyone to see on Google Play - even though it's available if someone really wants to find me. But there is a difference between being available to those who buy my apps and to all people and web crawlers around the world.
  • Let me guess...you don't report that income to the IRS either, huh? What goes around comes around. I don't expect you or anyone to put their home address out for all to know and see, but I do expect you to at least setup a PO Box. I've had one in the past (a smaller one) and it was less than $20 PER 6 MONTHS...
  • @ConTejas: F-off, troll. I have a even better solution than the pay for privacy one: allow devs to opt-out from selling to the EU. "If you do not sell your goods to consumers residing within the EU, these laws do not apply to you" (http://sea.ebay.com/news/abpost/update/2014/0508/4951.html) Google's interpretation of the EU Consumer Rights Directive is over-zealous.
  • Weird, but I don't see this address (or any other address) for Google's apps...
  • Here's another: 1 Infinite Loop
    Cupertino, California 95014 Sound familiar? Yes. This is Apple's address. Chuck Norris can call 'su' without having root permissions.
  • So when will Ebay and Creiglist implement this? They don't show a physical address from the seller. Google is the mediator for info and in accord with the consumer protection law the only one with authority to retrieve the address is a judge when a suite is filed. Good thing my apps are/will continue to be "free"
  • Those addresses are easy to find, but finding Joe Schmoe who made a bullshit app that ripped people off might be a little harder to find..?.. I don't have a problem with this. If you're making thousands off an app, I think you can afford a PO Box and a little accountability..
  • True, but if Google are doing this for regulatory reasons then surely the aforementioned services are too, plus Amazon and iTunes et El? Posted via Android Central App
  • et al*
  • Amazon AppStore and iTunes don't pretend they are only transaction services like Google does with Google Play - meaning it's much easier to do accounting when dealing with them while on Google Play developers are treated as the sellers and Google only as transaction provider (like PayPal) meaning even the smallest developers have to deal with international sales and VAT.
  • Hint: It's called policing and moderating the Play Store.
  • Has anyone noticed the address being shown for any app?
    I can't see it even for Google's apps...
  • Nope. Not yet.
  • Thank you.
    Maybe it's shown only for EU ?
  • Free apps are exempt.
  • Yes, but I assumed they will try to make an example.
  • Good. Posted via the Android Central App on VZW Moto X
  • For whom is that good? When you buy app - you already see the address in Google Wallet. What is the advantage of seeing it BEFORE buying apps and to all web crawlers and spammers out there?
  • This is what virtual offices are for. Posted via Android Central App
  • Added my PO Box address, but it still hasn't shown up in my (old) app's detail page yet.
  • If they just want to verify that the developers' company is legitimate, then do what Apple does: check their D&B number. A developer's address should never be displayed publicly since they're not selling any physical products! Posted via the Xperia Z4
  • Yet most indie devs don't own a incorporated business. They work out of their personal homes.
  • I'm going to add a bit here. One; the odd thing is that this whole mess is due to the European Commission. I say all the devs just not support EU period. Google should make it that if you deselect countries outside the US then you should not have to provide our add. Second; The actual dev site states this.
    ______________________________________
    Please provide a current, valid postal address where you may be contacted. If you offer apps or in-app items for sale, you are required to provide a postal address under our developer terms and consumer protection laws; failure to do so may result in the suspension of your account and/or sales of your apps. Please ensure that you keep these details up to date if they change. By providing your email or postal address information, you confirm that you consent to Google publicly displaying or disclosing that information in connection with your apps.
    ________________________________________ It says "postal address" so that means a a POB will work. Also note that the agreement that is linked in the statement has no mention of the words address, postal, or physical and makes no mention of your address information. Google had better get it together because this is going to cause a lot of heart ache and issues!!!
  • I see this as a good thing from a consumer point of view - why should people be ripped off by dodgy devs without any recourse. If you want to be paid for your work then you should be prepared to deal with customers professionally. I for instance will never buy from a website that does not have a contact address (and also a phone contact depending on the item), sites with just email contact scream "I'm gonna run off with your money". Though it wouldn't be such a big issue with apps that cost pennies, are there some that cost a lot more. That said, it looks like the implementation of this requirement has poorly thought out. I don't see why an indie dev cannot declare himself as an individual rather and a business and provide his home address details to Google Play but have this hidden from end customers unless there is a dispute that requires communication of a legal nature (for example). It's typical that Google chooses a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem and ignore that there are lots of different circumstances and reasons why it cannot apply to every situation,
  • "sites with just email contact scream "I'm gonna run off with your money" " No, no it doesn't. Please provide proof. Oh, and if they do, there are legal means of getting your money back: chargebacks or a PayPal dispute. Thanks for your FUD.