Google India on Thursday said in a blog post that it has taken down several personal loan apps from its Android platform Play Store who were found to be in violation of Google's policies. Google reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps and removed immediately removed those which were found to violate the user safety policies. The tech giant took this action after users and government agencies in India recently flagged several personal loan apps.
"The apps that were found to violate our user safety policies were immediately removed from the Store, and 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. In addition, we will continue to assist the law enforcement agencies in their investigation of this issue," Google India said in its blog post.
"All developers in the Play Store agree to the terms of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, which stipulates that apps must adhere to applicable rules and laws, including generally accepted practices and guidelines. The Google Play Developer Policy requires financial services apps that offer personal loans to disclose key information such as the minimum and maximum periods of repayment, the maximum Annual Percentage Rate, and a representative example of the total loan cost. To help further ensure that users are making sound choices, we only allow personal loan apps with full repayment required in greater than or equal to 60 days from the date the loan is issued," the blog post read further.
The tech giant said it also publishes reports of alleged local law violations including those submitted by government agencies.
The blog of Google India was posted by Suzanne Frey who happens to be the Vice President of Product, Android Security and Privacy. Frey noted that in order to protect user privacy, developers must only request permissions that are necessary to implement current features or services. The developers should not use permissions that give access to the user or device data for undisclosed, unimplemented, or disallowed features or purposes, the bog said.
Frey asserted that developers should only use data for purposes that the user has consented to, and if they later want to use the data for other purposes, they must obtain user permission for the additional uses.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a warning in December to people not to fall prey to Digital Lending Scam in the process of getting instant loans. It stressed that people should avoid such platforms that claim to provide loans with paperwork. This warning for RBI had come after several complaints were lodged on shady instant loan apps which threatened and abused the customers while demanding the repayment of the borrowed amount.