29 June 2019
AdMob is a mobile application advertising platform created by Google. It's used to promote mobile apps and to help advertisers make money through mobile apps by enabling in-app advertising.
AdMob also works with Google Analytics to help app owners get valuable insight and information about their app's usage and the effectiveness of any advertising campaigns. AdMob works on both iOS and Android platforms.
AdMob has a few requirements for mobile app developers, including the requirement that "you must disclose clearly any data collection, sharing and usage that takes place on any site, app or other property as a consequence of your use of any Google advertising service."
This requirement comes from the Privacy section of the AdSense Program Policies:
Google also leaves an open-ended mention that app developers who use AdMob adhere to the relevant laws of countries as well as individual publisher requirements when it comes to updating their Privacy Policies to reflect the use of personalized advertising.
In sum, if you use Google AdMob, Google requires that you:
AdMob and other advertisement services always collect some sort of personally identifiable information from users in order to function, which means you must disclose this data collection to your users.
It's the best way to stay compliant, and users are familiar with the format and availability of these legal documents when they're interested in finding out more about your app's privacy practices.
In this section, users are informed that Intermorphic "may deploy AdMob advertising in some/all of our Software...and on platforms including mobile devices." Users are informed that "a random string of characters that is used for the same purposes as a cookie" may be used on mobile devices, and that AdMob's optional GPS/location-based ad targeting is not used.
AdMob is also mentioned in the section of the policy titled "Uses Made of the Information". Here, users are informed that Intermorphic "may use the following ad serving services to help monitise the Websites and/or software" and includes AdMob in the list.
This disclosure is short but fully adequate:
Number 6 lets users know that Hobbyist Software's "free applications use advertising currently provided by AdMob and Mopub and anonymous statistical information is reported to them so they can see whether their adverts are effective." Links to both AdMob and Mopub's privacy policies are included.
In this section, users are told that Frogmind and its partners "may use ad serving technology to provide advertisements of interest to you within the Services (for example within the Android application)."
If you use Google AdMob for your mobile app, you're going to be collecting and using user data. This means you're legally required by Google, some app store platforms, and international law to let users know about this data collection and usage.
As you can see from the examples, you don't need to include a lot of detailed information in your disclosure. Just the mention that AdMob is in place and will collect and analyze information from users is adequate.
This article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.