Google Play’s CRD compliance causes epic developer strop

An interesting bit of Consumer Rights Directive news this.

Google Play has amended their T&Cs to note the physical addresses of app developers, not their own address as the middleman. After all, that’s good CRD compliance.

This has caused a lot of upset around independent app developers who are gobsmacked to find their home addresses publicly displayed in the Google Play store. Bedroom developers selling apps for profit are throwing tantrums at being reminded that, bedroom or not, they are businesses, and have to act like them. One commenter even said that developers are entitled to privacy! (The implication, of course, being that developers who can figure out advanced programming can’t be expected to learn how to secure a registered business address.) I can’t help but wonder how many of the objecting developers also have ideological stances against business stuff like DPA registration and filing tax returns.

You can read the comments on this post to see some of them, but this one really hits it on the head:

What I find “creepy” is the fact that for some reason “indie” devs seem to believe that “indie” means, “Selling stuff without all the hassle of…selling stuff.”

Sorry – if you want to sell me something, I reserve a right to check out your business before I make a purchasing decision. I deserve to know who and where these products are coming from. If this is beyond what you are willing to supply, then you have the option to *not* offer a product for sale. (Donation links can be posted in the descriptions if I am not mistaken)

This is true for virtually all retail establishments. Why do “indie” devs believe they are exempt?

There are further tantrums on that post from devs who think digital products should not be treated like physical ones. Ironically part of the Consumer Rights Directive was creating digital products in commercial law. Up until June, in many European countries, they did not exist in statute, and therefore people had no protection from dodgy apps – or their developers.

I paid £6 for an app that barely worked. As it used a lot of my personal data, I emailed the dev to ask him why the app lacked any sort of privacy policy. He never responded. There were no business addresses listed on their web site, which was full of cut-and-paste marketing babble. I don’t know if they were in America, India, or China, and I still don’t know what, if anything, he was doing with my data. The question is why on earth certain developers think that fellow developers like that should continue to be protected, as if their presence in the app shop was a learning exercise.

About the author

Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. She researches, writes, publishes, consults, and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies which affect the crafts of web design and development. She has been designing and developing web sites since 1997 and has been a professional web site designer since 2007. She holds a postgraduate certification in internet law and policy from the University of Strathclyde. Learn about hiring Heather to write, speak, or consult.