Google restricts apps for stalking

On Wednesday, Google presented new rules against deception for the Google Play app store. They apply from October 1st. Twenty days later, stricter rules for stalkerware are added. In addition, apps for gambling or sports betting from a Brazilian state bank are allowed. So far, Google only allows gambling and betting in France, Great Britain and Ireland. But such apps are not allowed to bill sales via Google Play or allow minors to work.

Stalkerware is commonly used to secretly monitor the device user. Since August 11th, Google has stopped advertising clandestine GPS trackers and programs that are used to secretly monitor adults. Now it’s the turn of Google Play. Code that transmits personal information to third parties without adequate information or consent and that does not display a persistent warning is undesirable on Google Play from October 21st.

Google continues to monitor children and employees, provided that this is permitted in the respective country. However, a permanent notice and an icon that clearly identifies the app are required. In addition, these apps may not be marketed as espionage or surveillance solutions.

At the same time, a ban on misleading identities comes into force. Apps and developers can no longer pretend to be someone else. It is also inadmissible to disguise or misrepresent the country of origin, ownership or primary purpose of an app or developer access.

In the case of apps whose content relates to politics, social issues or matters of public interest, all “important details” as well as the identity of the developer and the app must be disclosed. In particular, Google does not agree to a coordinated approach with other apps, websites, developers or accounts to hide such information.


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