Google warns developers against misusing Accessibility services

Google has asked developers not to use Accessibility Services for other purposes that may create security issues.

| Updated on: Nov 13 2017, 11:13 IST
Google to remove apps if found in violation.
Google to remove apps if found in violation. (Reuters)
Google to remove apps if found in violation.
Google to remove apps if found in violation. (Reuters)

Google has cautioned app developers not to misuse its Accessibility Services, which have been designed for users with disabilities. Google further warned that the apps that are violating the company's guidelines will be removed from Play Store.

To better help users with disabilities, Android has a set of Accessibility Services that developers can use to improve their applications.

"Google is most likely cracking down on Accessibility Services use due to security reasons. While applications like LastPass use the available APIs to identify password fields in other apps, this level of access can be used maliciously," tech portal Android Police reported on Monday.

Google has sent an email to developers, stating that "unless developers can describe how the app properly uses the Accessibility Services to help users who are disabled, it will need to remove all requests for accessibility services or it will be taken off of the Play Store", 9to5Google reported.

Apps like LastPass, Universal Copy, Clipboard Actions, Cerberus, Tasker and Network Monitor Mini use Accessibility Services.

The new directive could have major ramifications for several apps, especially those intended for customisation or power users.

"All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts," Google said.

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First Published Date: 13 Nov, 11:11 IST