In February, Google announced that it would review all the applications that ask for the location in the background that are published in Google Play, in addition to the restrictions on the matter that have been included in Android 10 and Android 11. With this announcement, a sheet was published route that ended on November 2, when all apps that need location in the background had to be checked or they would be removed from the store.
The date has passed, and Google has posted an update on this on its developer blog. The policy remains in place, and all apps that require background location will have to be manually reviewed by Google, but the deadline is extended to January 18, 2021 for some apps and March 29 for others.
More time to justify the use of location
Accessing the location in the background is necessary for map applications and some other specific cases, but according to Google, many of the apps that access location in the background don’t really need to. In addition, accessing the location at all times is easy to exploit by malicious apps or with monetization SDKs by which a user’s location can even end up in the hands of the military.
Therefore, Google is asking developers to fill out a form where describe in detail why you need to know the location in the background, including a short video showing the warning screen indicating what the location is needed for and the process to activate it. Without video, there is no approval from Google.
According to the original planning, by August 3, 2020, all new published apps that need location in the background should have been approved, and by November 2, all Google Play apps should have passed said review. Google has decided to give some extra time, and Google gives developers until January 18, 2021 to submit the form.
However, apps that were published on Google Play before April 16, 2020 have a couple more months until March 29. After this date, apps that have not justified the use of the location in the background may be removed from the Google store.
More information | Android Developers