Google Play To Remove Stalkerware Apps And ‘Masquerades’
In a bid to give internet users back some control over their life and data, Google Play has said that it will remove stalkerware apps and others who hide their real functions.
The new Google Play policy will go into effect on 1st October 2020 and its major targets are stalkerware apps. These apps contain a certain code that collects users’ personal information and transmits it to developers.
The main issue is that most of these apps execute stalkerware codes without notifying their users properly. They do this by not asking for permission and when they do, they do not keep a notification up to remind users of what is happening.
It is some sort of illegal surveillance and tracking that Google Play seeks to put an end to.
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Tracking people’s internet activities have become a big industry. This is because it often gives marketers clue into what people may want and thus, target them with ads. But from 1st October 2020, Google is changing this policy. It will unmask these masquerading apps for what they truly are.
One of the new changes that Google Play will put in place is to force apps that collect users’ data to let them know that they do this. Also, these apps cannot market themselves as surveillance solutions. Neither can they pass themselves misleadingly off as just functional apps.
In addition, apps that collect and track users’ data will need to put up a permanent notification to alert users of what it is doing at all times. Otherwise, Google will kick it off its platform.
However, Threat Post says that Google Play will allow apps that parents use to track children activities to operate without following this new rules. But, when it comes to tacking a spouse, Google says the app will need to be granted permission. Or it must have the permanent notification displayed.
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