More from Author Rachel Maga here: https://globelivemedia.com/author/rachel-maga/
Google announced on January 14th that it has removed some personal lending apps from the Google Play store in India. The company said it would step up measures to prevent misuse after reports that some companies in the country were over-targeting vulnerable borrowers.
Google said the company has reviewed hundreds of apps after Indian users and government agencies have recently flagged some mobile app. During the review process, some apps were found to violate the Play Store’s safety policy and were immediately removed from the store.
In India, Android OS accounts for 98% of smartphones. Google is asking the remaining developers of the identified apps to prove that they are in compliance with the local laws and regulations that apply to the app (in an email confirmed by TechCrunch, Google said yesterday. I was asking the developers to provide documentation within.)
“Apps that fail to do this will be removed without additional notice, and we will continue to work with law enforcement agencies to investigate this issue,” Google said.
Over the last few months, users have scrutinized several lending apps, including 10 Minute Loan and Ex-Money in India, for short-term small loans (usually in the $ 50- $ 200 range). It is identified by granting it to people without doing it and then charging a high fee.
To avoid such abuse, Google said the Play Store will now only allow personal apps that require customers to repay for a period of 60 days or more.
When a borrower struggles to pay off his debt in a short period of time, there are other malicious tactics that stand out, some lending apps threatening collectors to embarrass in front of friends, colleagues and family. It is said that it came. In November 2020, the local newspaper Indian Express reported that a 23-year-old man committed suicide after being threatened by a lending app. This is not the only suicide case reported in recent months in connection with similar harassment.
Online loan horror :
Representative of a loan app called ” Udhaar Loan ” Asking a girl from Tamilnadu to video call her naked , if she fails to pay loan on time .
She attempted suicide today.
– Prashanth Rangaswamy (@itisprashanth) November 8, 2020
Fear of online loans.
A loan app rep called “Udhaar Loan” tells a young woman in Tamil Nadu
If I couldn’t pay the loan by the due date, I was urging me to make a video call naked.
She tried to commit suicide today.
Spread until it reaches @PMOIndia.
According to local media, police in Hyderabad, South India, recently frozen a bank account holding $ 58 million on suspicion of fraud through 30 lending apps, both of which It had not been approved by the central bank. Preliminary research revealed that these apps were processing about $ 2.9 billion through 14 million transactions.
Cashless Consumer, a consumer organization for digital paymentsSrikanth L(Slicant L) told TechCrunch that it took Google too long to look at the issue. Sri Kant, who has been tracking Indian online lending apps for several quarters, saidOwn analysisIn the last 10 days, more than 100 apps have disappeared from the Google Play store, citing about 450 apps in the last few months.
He also criticized Google for not taking sufficient steps to stop the app from collecting extensive data from customers’ Android smartphones. “Google still doesn’t even require app developers to disclose their website or physical address,” he added.
Suzanne Frey, vice president of security and privacy for Android, wrote in a blog post: “To protect the privacy of our users, developers must only request the permissions they need to perform their current features and services. Unpublished permissions to the given user and device data, It should not be used for features or purposes that have not been implemented or are not permitted. ”
“Developers also need to use the data only for purposes that the user has agreed to. If they later want to use the data for other purposes, they will get the user’s permission again for their additional use. We need to, “she added.
The move on the 14th comes months after Google stepped up its efforts to crack down on Indian fantasy sports apps.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.