Google has updated its Play Store Developer Program Policy, which will essentially debit someone using a Stellarware app to track others without their consent. The policy update brings in a clause that mandates developers of such apps to include a notice or consent as well as a notification feature to monitor the user’s actions. The developers have been given a grace period of at least 15 days to bring the changes.
According to a policy update Released By Google, first Speckled By ZDNet, developers of stalkerware apps should send a notification to users informing them that their movements are being monitored as well as personal information, and asks for their consent. Developers can be given a 15-day grace period to comply with the changes, which can be extended. Failure to do so will result in application removal Play store.
The term stalkerware is used to refer to apps that transmit data to a third party other than a potentially harmful application (PHA) provider. These apps are used to track someone’s movements, snoop calls and messages, and record the activities of other apps.
Google It also stated that “apps and app listings on Google Play should not provide any means to activate or access functionality that violates these conditions, such as linking to non-compliant APKs hosted outside of Google Play . “
However, there is a drawback that may allow developers to find a way to keep apps running while complying with the new rules. Google states that a policy-compliant application designed specifically for parental monitoring or enterprise management will be allowed on the Play Store. There is a possibility that developers may market their apps appropriately – to track children’s activities, for example – but they can be used for snooping on other users.
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