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Google boots harmful lending apps from the Play Store

These apps were reviewed after they were flagged by users as well as government agencies, the company said.
These apps were reviewed after they were flagged by users as well as government agencies, the company said.

While Google did not specify the number of apps that were ejected from the Play Store, it stated that the remaining apps would have to show that they were working under existing norms.

Google has reviewed hundreds of lending apps for their compliance with local laws and regulations before booting multiple apps from its Play Store in the country, the company has announced in a blog post on Thursday.

After reviewing “hundreds of personal loan apps” available on the Play Store, Google stated that it “immediately removed” the ones that were found in violation of the company’s user safety policies. These apps were reviewed after they were flagged by users as well as government agencies, the company said.

While Google did not specify the number of apps that were ejected from the Play Store, it stated that the remaining apps would have to show that they were working under existing norms. "We have asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations. Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice," the company said on Thursday.

If a developer uploads a financial services app to the Play Store, they must inform their users about the minimum and maximum periods of repayment, the maximum annual percentage rate, and a representative example of the total loan cost, according to the company’s Developer Policy. Similarly, only personal loan apps that require full repayment after a period of 60 days or more are allowed on the Play Store.

Also read: Some lending apps thrive on India's Google Play despite policy violations

Google also stated that its global product policies were designed and implemented with the goal of providing a safe and secure experience across the company’s products and that it was always working to improve practices to enhance user safety. It also publishes reports of alleged local law violations (including those submitted by government agencies as part of their transparency reports.

As part of the company’s work to protect user privacy, Google has stated that developers must only ask for permissions needed to implement a particular feature of service - access to user or device data for “undisclosed, unimplemented, or disallowed features or purposes” is being actively discouraged. The company has also mandated that developers must only use data for purposes that the user has consented to, later obtaining additional permission if they wanted to use the data for other purposes.

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