Google updates Android Market guidelines and policies

Google published its Android Market Business and Program Policies, presumably timed to coincide with the virtual storefront's introduction of premium mobile applications. According to Google, consumers have 24 hours from the time of purchase (not download) to return any applications for a full refund of any applicable fees; Android Market does not provide users upgrade functionality for any products, and should an app offer free or paid upgrades, those upgrades must be obtained directly from the developer responsible. Google also disavows responsibility for billing disputes tied to Android Market purchases, and informs consumers to direct all billing issues to the developer, the payment processor or their credit card company as appropriate.

Google notes that in the event it discovers an app that violates the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement or other legal contracts, laws, regulations or policies, it retains the right to remotely remove those applications from Android devices at its sole discretion. If that occurs, Google will make reasonable efforts to recover the purchase price from the originating developer on the consumer's behalf--if the web services giant is unable to recover the full amount, it will divide any recovered amounts between affected users on a pro rata basis.

Additional policies and guidelines worth noting:

  • Android Market does not allow content containing nudity, graphic sex acts or sexually explicit material, nor does it allow content that drives traffic to commercial pornographic sites. Google adds it will enforce a zero-tolerance policy against child pornography, and will report offenders to the appropriate authorities as well as delete their Google Accounts.
  • Android Market should not contain materials that threaten, harass or bully other users. Nor does the site allow the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status or sexual orientation/gender identity.
  • Only users ages 13 years or older are permitted to use Android Market--users under 18 must have their parent or legal guardian's permission.

Google adds that if someone is violating its program policies, users should select the "Flag content" option under Android Market's Global Menu Functions. Google will review each report and take action if appropriate. In January, Google committed to make browsing Android Market a more positive experience following outcry from some consumers over crass comments left by fellow users.

For more on the Android Market guidelines:
- read this Google policy page

Related articles:
Android Market policies questioned after problems with app
Android Market to offer application geo-tagging