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Google Home Developer Policies Overview

This policy is designed to provide requirements to developers using and building integrations on Google’s platform (including the Google Home Developer Console and the tools and materials available through the Google Home Developer Console) that lets you integrate your products and services with Google's smart home products and services ("Google Home Developer Platform"), including during any transition period from Actions on Google. Some partners may have access to additional APIs and be subject to varying terms of service and policies, including, but not limited to, the Google API Terms of Service and Google API Services User Data policy. For the purposes of this policy, the term integration applies to the project or individual integrations within that project. This policy applies to all aspects of integrations with the Google Home Developer Platform. For any policies that are not expressly discussed within this Google Home Developer Policy, the Actions on Google policies will apply to all aspects of those integrations. In the event of any conflict between these Google Home Developer Policies and others, these Google Home Developer Policies will apply.

Avoiding a policy violation is always better than managing one, but when violations do occur, we’re committed to ensuring developers understand how they can bring their use of Google Home Developer Platform into compliance.

If we find that your integration violates our policy, you will receive a notification with a specific reason for removal or rejection. Repeated or serious violations of the policy may result in termination of individual, related or partner accounts.

We may take action based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, a pattern of harmful behavior or high risk of abuse. We identify risk of abuse based on factors, including, but not limited to, previous violation history, user feedback, and misuse of popular brands, characters, and other assets.

As a developer of applications and services connecting to the Google Home Developer Platform, you often collect and manage sensitive user information. By accessing or integrating with the Google Home Developer Platform (including any developer materials made available through the Google Home Developer Platform), you agree to the following policies.

Privacy and Security

User Data

You must be transparent in how you handle user and/or device data (e.g., information provided by a user, collected about a user, and collected about a user's use of the integration or device). This policy establishes the Google Home Developer Platform minimum privacy requirements; you or your integration may need to comply with additional restrictions or procedures if required by an applicable law.

All integrations must adhere to the following:

  • Provide a link to your applicable privacy policy in the Google Home Developer Console: The privacy policy must, together with any integration disclosures, comprehensively disclose how your integration collects, uses, and shares user data, including the types of parties with whom it's shared. It must be written in each of the languages your integration is enabled for. You must limit your use of the data to the activities described in the disclosures. You must allow Google crawlers to access and scan the content of the privacy document. Your privacy policy must remain accessible and legible for all potential and existing users of your integration.

  • Request appropriate permissions: Don't request access to data that you don't need to provide the primary features of your application or service.

  • Be transparent: Accurately represent and explain to users what data you will collect, why you will collect it, and how you will use it.

  • Secure user data: Handle user data securely throughout the entire lifecycle of the data (including but not limited to: collection, transmission, processing, and storage) by demonstrating adherence to modern security practices and/or additional specifications as required by Google.

  • Protect users' privacy: Don't use any data obtained through any Google-related integration, including but not limited to the Google Home Developer Platform, Google Cloud Platform, or any other Google product, for prohibited uses, like selling or using user data for advertising purposes.

  • Respect users' wishes: Honor user requests to delete their data.

Deceptive behavior

We don't allow integrations that attempt to deceive users. Integrations must provide an accurate description of their functionality and perform as reasonably expected by the user. Integrations must not attempt to falsely mimic system functionality or warnings of any kind. Any changes to device settings must be made with the user's knowledge and consent and be easily reversible by the user.

Misleading Claims

We don't allow integrations that contain false or misleading information or claims, including description, display name, or icon. Don't try to imply an endorsement or relationship with another entity where none exists.

Examples of misleading claims include:

  • Misrepresenting or not accurately describing what your device is capable of once it is integrated with Google Home;

  • Misrepresenting interoperability with Google or another device that does not exist

  • Using a display name or icon in Google Home Developer Platform that is similar to another existing entity in order to impersonate them, or cause a user to erroneously enter your setup process in the Google Home app. This includes, but is not limited to a generic name or product category name so as to potentially mislead the user.

Malicious behavior

We don't allow integrations that steal data, secretly monitor or harm users or that are otherwise malicious. This includes, but is not limited to, engaging device functionality such as audio or video recording without accurately representing the state of the device to the user.

We don't allow integrations that interfere with, disrupt, damage, or access in an unauthorized manner the user's device or other devices, computers, servers, networks, application programming interfaces (APIs), or services. This includes other integrations, any Google service, and the device's network.

All integrations that collect user data must comply with the User Data policy and fully disclose their functions.

The following are explicitly prohibited:

  • Viruses, trojan horses, malware, spyware, and any other malicious software.
  • Promoting or facilitating the distribution or installation of malicious software.
  • Introducing or exploiting security vulnerabilities.
  • Stealing a user's authentication information (such as usernames or passwords).
  • Tricking users into disclosing personal or authentication information.
  • Indicating the integration has closed or exited, but continuing to record the user.
  • Running other integrations without the user's prior consent.
  • Secretly collecting device usage.

Integrations must not provide any means to activate or access functionality that violate these terms.

Security vulnerabilities

If your integration is associated with a security vulnerability that could be exploited to compromise another integration, application, device, or service, we may remove it to protect users.

If your integration is associated with a security breach leading to the accidental or unlawful device or network malfunction; or destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, data on systems managed by or otherwise controlled by you, you must disclose this to Google in writing no later than 72 hours after the breach discovery. You must cooperate with Google in the investigation, coordination, and resolution of the malfunction or data breach.

Data feeds

If you provide us with data, including, but not limited to content meta data, via a data feed or other mechanism, the data must comply with these policies, including the sections on Intellectual Property. You must correctly implement all technical requirements and provide content for all required fields. The data provided must be relevant to the use case of feed and accurate. We may disable the feed (or a portion of it), disable use of the data, or remove any related integrations for violations of these policies or if they create a poor user experience.

Support Duration

  • Support Duration

    • All integrations with the Google Home Developer Platform must provide security updates for at least three years from the date when the integration is first certified in the Google Home Developer Console.
  • End of Life

    • You must provide Google with at least 90 days notice should you wish to end support for any integration or device with the Google Home Developer Platform. Failure to do so may adversely affect your other integrations, future or then current, with Google Home or your standing with the Works with Google Home badge.

    • Google reserves the right, without notice, to stop support of any integrations with the Google Home Developer Platform that have stopped receiving developer support.

Matter Integrations

  • Matter Certification

    • All Matter-enabled devices integrating with the Google Home Developer Platform must be certified in accordance with the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) process prior to obtaining Works with Google Home certification.

    • Matter integrations that wish to receive the Works with Google Home badge must conform to: 1) CSA Matter certification, and 2) all other requirements as provided by Google.

  • Matter and Cloud dual-stack devices

    • In order for a dual-stack device to receive and/or maintain a Works with Google Home badge, it must pass both 1) Matter integration certification as above and 2) Works with Google Home Cloud integration certification. This includes any requirements for deduplication of dual-stack devices.

    • For additional requirements concerning Intelligence Clusters, please refer to the Intelligence Clusters requirements.

Smart-enabled devices

Security or surveillance integrations must not log personally identifiable information (PII) of individuals outside the primary user without their consent. For example, doorbell integrations cannot log information about who may be at the door without the express consent of that individual.

We do not allow integrations that may violate applicable laws. This includes, but is not limited to, integrations that instruct passenger transport vehicles to move, allow for the controlling of pool covers from inside the home, or any other safety-related or other prohibited features.

Secondary User Verification

Google requires partners to enable a secondary user verification for any operation that may change the device state to a non-secure or disabled state, such as unlocking a door, turning off a camera, disabling a security system, or opening a device that may have a safety concern.

While the nature of the security and safety precautions may vary by the type of device, at minimum these devices must require account linking and a secondary user verification, such as confirmation on a secured mobile device or a password/PIN. Irrespective of the nature of the integration, adding the additional layer of security is required to comply with Google’s policies. However, after the user has established a secondary verification, you may provide an opt-out option for the user. The opt-out language must be precise and clear to the user.

Works with Google Home Certification

When users search for and buy devices labeled with the Works with Google Home badge, they should expect robust functionality and a safe, reliable, and seamless experience. Developers must also meet the following requirements for device certification and use of the Works with Google Home badge:

Functionality

The Smart Home API supports device types and traits to match the functionality of smart home devices. Device type representation should be accurate and specific based on the identity of the device itself. This also applies to Matter devices, which should expose to the Google Home Developer Platform all the standards-compliant Matter clusters and functionality made available to any non-Google ecosystem. For example, if you have a smart switch that may control lights, then the device type that you use is Switch, since that represents the nature of the physical device. Integrations that use incorrect device types or traits (e.g., a space heater that is implemented as a dimmable light) may be removed at Google's discretion. Google provides guides on devices and their required functionality here.

Additionally, if new device traits are added to your device via any other non-Google ecosystem or integration, those capabilities must be made accessible to Google users at the same time. As an example, for color light bulbs, users should be able to change the color of the bulbs, turn the bulbs on and off, adjust the bulbs’ brightness, etc., through Google interfaces. Further, if new features are made available through device updates, these traits and/or clusters must also be available to the Google Home Developer Platform at launch.

Google reserves the right to not certify submissions if your device fails Google testing, fails to integrate all functionality present on the device with compatible Smart Home API traits allowing Google to provide a complete experience, is incompatible with standard Matter clusters, or evinces performance or reliability issues. Likewise, if local reporting of Matter cluster state changes proves to be unreliable or latent, device certification may be denied or revoked.

Reporting User Configuration Changes

You shall report device configuration updates in your ecosystem to Google; for example if the developer updates functionality like supported traits, or if the user adds, renames, or removes a device, the developer must report those updates to Google. This eliminates the need for users to remove or add the device to their account to receive updates after they make an update in the developer app. This can be accomplished through the Request Sync API or the appropriate Matter descriptor clusters.

Safety Certificate

There are certain devices that may have safety implications, such as cooking appliances that may get hot enough to be a safety concern. For any device that can potentially pose a heightened safety risk, we ask that you share the UL certificate (or similar safety certification) for that device. Additional details on safety certificate requirements can be found here.

Certification Refresh

Smart Home API integrations should be recertified when the API has functionality changed or when your device otherwise adds new capabilities that are supported by the Smart Home API. This is inclusive of additional devices that the partner adds to their integration. For example, as new devices are included, the certification requirement must also be met for those devices.

Additionally, Google reserves the right to require integrations to be recertified periodically. This will ensure you maintain eligibility for the Works with Google Home badge and your integration remains in good standing. Failure to recertify, will revoke your approval for use of the Works with Google Home badge and can potentially lead to one or more enforcement actions against your Smart Home API integration.

Conflicting terms

These policies do not limit or amend any terms of service or other agreements that apply to the user's use of the applicable Google products or services, unless the policies expressly state that they are amending specific terms of service or agreements.

Enforcement

If your integration has violated any of our policies, we may take one or more enforcement actions against your integration or your developer account, as outlined below. In addition, we’ll notify you with relevant information about the enforcement action we’ve taken, along with instructions on how to appeal if you believe we’ve taken enforcement action in error.

Please note that removal or administrative notices may not indicate each and every policy violation present in your integration. You are responsible for addressing any policy issue and conducting extra due diligence to ensure that the remainder of their integration is fully policy compliant. Failure to address policy violations in all of your integrations may result in additional enforcement actions, including permanent removal of your integration or account termination.

Repeated or serious violations (such as malware, fraud, and integrations that may cause user or device harm) of the terms of service or policies for integrations on Google may result in termination of individual or related integrations on Google developer accounts.

Rejection

  • A new integration or integration update submitted for review will not be made available on Google Home or through other Google-connected interfaces.

  • If an update to an existing integration was rejected, the integration version published prior to the update will remain available on Google Home.

  • Rejections don’t impact your access to a rejected integration’s existing user installs, statistics, and ratings.

  • Rejections don’t impact the standing of your integrations on your Google developer account.

Limited visibility

  • Your integration’s discoverability through Google interfaces such as suggested devices and automations, partner catalogs, and additional features may be restricted. The integration will remain on the Google Home Developer Platform.

  • Having your integration placed in a limited visibility state doesn’t impact the standing of your other integrations on your Google Developer account.

Account termination

  • When your developer account is terminated, all integrations in your catalog will be removed from the Google Home Developer Platform and you will no longer be able to submit new integrations. This also means that any related Google Home Developer Platform accounts will also be permanently suspended.

  • Multiple suspensions or suspensions for egregious policy violations may also result in the termination of your developer account, and the decommissioning of your existing fleet of devices from the Works with Google Home certification program. This will disable all Works with Google Home functionality beyond the Matter protocol, including access to Cloud-based integrations, Google Intelligence Clusters and Owner Test Accounts in the Google Home Developer Console.

Because the integrations within the terminated account are removed, users will not be able to see the integration’s existing listing, existing user installs, statistics, and ratings.

Appealing an enforcement action

We will reinstate integrations if an error was made and we find that your integration does not violate the terms of service and policies for integrations on Google. If you’ve reviewed the policies carefully and feel that our enforcement action may have been in error, please follow the instructions provided in our notice to you to appeal our decision. You can also contact us here.

Intelligence Clusters Addendum

  • Data Prohibitions

    • Intelligence Clusters data, including communications of presence, may be processed locally by authorized devices, but must not be transferred off of the authorized device that received the data. Authorized devices include consumer devices in the end user location authorized to receive Intelligence Clusters data. The following are prohibited:

    • Transferring data obtained from intelligence clusters out of the authorized device, including but not limited to cloud-side collection by third parties.

    • Transferring, repackaging, combining, persistently storing, or inferring presence data from Google/Nest SDK/APIs for additional processing. Examples include establishing local routines for times of day when home/away presence consistently or likely changes.

  • Device Security

    • Matter certification/attestation and/or third party allowlisting may be used by Google to reduce risk of unauthorized cloud-side sharing.

    • Third party devices that access presence via the Google/Nest SDK/API shall be compliant with ETSI EN 303 645 security requirements or equivalent.

  • User Consent

    • If you wish for your Matter device to process data from Intelligence Clusters, you must explicitly inform the user on what data will be collected and how the data will be used, in addition to obtaining the user’s consent before the initial processing of such data. User consent must also be obtained for any changes in data use.

    • If your Matter device processes data from Intelligence Clusters, you must provide the user with instructions on how to pause/terminate the data processing.