Oct 24, 2020 | Updated: 09:48 PM EDT

Google Plans To Purge Millions Of Apps To Eliminate Zombie Apps; Reminds Developers Of Privacy Policy

Feb 16, 2017 09:18 PM EST


Many Android users have been victims of the so-called zombie apps or data-stealers apps pretending to as legit and safe apps. To combat this, Google called for a massive purging of mobile applications that could be zombie apps.

In an article published by The Next Web, a series of letter from Google was sent to app developers who lacks privacy policy with their products available at the Play Store. Google also reminded the developers of the importance of transparent privacy policy for its users.

Google expects developers to give a clear private policy that could show them where their data goes, Greenbot has reported. Most of the zombie apps do not only have an unclear and hidden private policy but it also asks for sensitive information like bank details and digital accounts from the users.

Developers who will fail to show their private policy would face sanctions like their apps being removed from the Play Store. This act is based Google Play Store's User Data policy, where developers are expected to follow it from the start.

BGR also reported that some developers may not produce zombie apps but could not give a secured privacy policy to the users since they keep on forgetting to upload it. This could be rooted from the lack of downloaders of their apps.

Some apps could not be zombie apps but Google could think they were since they ask subtle access like smartphone account, contacts access, and even camera and microphone access. These could lead to privacy invasion since there are rare cases that the camera and microphone access could record and upload contents without the users' consent.

Right now, there is no certainty on the number of apps affected by Google's call but various sources said that it could lead up to millions. In order for the developers to keep their apps in the Play Store, they must comply with Google Play Store's policy until March 15 before facing removal.

For the apps that would only have minor violations, Google would not phase them out but would only receive less visibility on its users. It could still be a damage to the developers.

For the users to avoid zombie apps, Google advised them to check developer and review their privacy policy before downloading their app. This could be a large task for Google but it is time for some spring cleaning.

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