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Play Store: Google tightens the screw on financial applications
Google just updated the Play Store policy. These changes mainly concern financial applications. Faced with recent abuses, the company now prevents apps that offer personal loans from accessing users’ personal data.
As announced last March, Google is determined to make Android and the Play Store more secure in 2023. This will involve the launch of the beta of Privacy Sandbox, a technology designed to strengthen the protection of user privacy.
On the Play Store, the firm intends to improve the “Data Security” section of its shop with the integration of new rules and functionalities. And quite rightly, Google just made some changes to the Play Store policies with the April 2023 Update.
Google takes on financial apps
This time, the American company has decided to focus its efforts on financial applications, and in particular those who offer personal loans to individuals. Here is what we can read on the Google support site:
“We are updating our Personal Loans Policy to state that apps whose purpose is to provide or facilitate personal loans cannot access user contacts or photos.”
Additionally, these apps can no longer access the user’s internal storage, videos, or precise location and call logs. In addition, Google recalls that it does not allow applications that expose users to misleading or harmful financial products and services. Here, the firm means any solution for managing or investing money or cryptocurrencies, including any personalized advisory service.
Also read: The Google Play Store will make life easier for users of several smartphones
Google reacts after cases of harassment on borrowers
Why make these changes now? In recent weeks, frightening testimonies have been published on the web. Users say they have been victims of harassment from debt collectors after taking out a loan on a mobile application.
These agents would have access to the personal contacts of the borrowers, to notify their friends and family of their current debts. The idea being to focus on social pressure to speed up reimbursement. In more serious cases, these agents have even stole photos belonging to users before modifying them… To then intimidate them. These cases have been reported in key markets such as India and Kenya.