Google Play issues security warning to app developers

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Devs given 30 days to fix bad apps.

Google Play has issued a letter to developers to address changes in policy to crack down on insecure and dangerous apps.

The letter said that Google had made changes to its policies in regard to ‘dangerous products' that disclose personal information without authorisation and the behaviour of adverts in applications.

Google said that it is providing more detail on the kinds of dangerous products that are not allowed on Google Play, and has added a new section that addresses advert behaviour in apps.

“First, we make it clear that adverts in your app must follow the same rules as the app itself. Also, it is important to us that adverts don't negatively affect the experience by deceiving consumers or using disruptive behaviour such as obstructing access to apps and interfering with other adverts.”

This policy states that adverts are considered part of the app for the purposes of content review and compliance with the developer terms, so all policies, including those concerning illegal activities, violence, sexually explicit content and privacy violations, apply.

Google said it must be clear to the user which app each ad is associated with or implemented in. Adverts must not make changes to the functioning of the user's device outside the ad by doing things such as installing shortcuts, bookmarks or icons or changing default settings without the user's knowledge and consent.

“If an ad makes such changes it must be clear to the user which app has made the change and the user must be able to reverse the change easily, by either adjusting the settings on the device, advertising preferences in the app, or uninstalling the app altogether.”

Also, adverts must not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings and adverts associated with an app must not interfere with any adverts on a third-party application, it said.

Research by MWR Infosecurity and Channel 4 News found that some leading applications were sending personal data back from devices to advertising companies without user knowledge and that permissions were granted to the apps when they were downloaded.

Updating its Google Play developer program policy, Google said that it is required to update its policies when it launches new features and when it sees unhealthy behaviour such as deceptive app names and spam notifications.

It has also restricted the use of names or icons that are "confusingly similar to existing system apps in order to reduce user confusion".

It said that any existing apps will be given 30 days to fix and republish the application and after this period, existing applications discovered to be in violation may be subject to warning or removal from Google Play.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, UK edition


Google Play issues security warning to app developers
 
 
 
Top Stories
 
 
IAG hands digital chief his own ‘Labs’ division
Enterprise ops chief squeezed out in restructure.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
The 5 Windows 10 privacy issues you should be aware of
Jul 31, 2015
There are a few unsettling details when it comes to Windows 10 privacy
Windows 10 is here! (For some)
Jul 29, 2015
Delivery of the free upgrade versions of Windows 10 began today - have you got yours yet?
Microsoft reveals Microsoft Send, a new enterprise chat app to rival Slack
Jul 27, 2015
Microsoft Send is MSN Messenger for grownups, and you could be using it at work very soon
Developers offered $500,000 grants to find HoloLens uses
Jul 8, 2015
Can augmented-reality end up in business?
Microsoft Tossup: The planning app for unorganised groups of friends
Jul 8, 2015
App allows friends to research venues, vote on plans and chat. And depending on how you run your ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should law enforcement be able to buy and use exploits?



   |   View results
Yes
  14%
 
No
  51%
 
Only in special circumstances
  17%
 
Yes, but with more transparency
  18%
TOTAL VOTES: 793

Vote