Google removes apps from its Play Store periodically when the apps are caught violating its policies. In the latest instance, the Android maker has deleted three popular apps used by kids from the Play Store after it received concerns from International Digital Accountability Council (IDCA).
The IDCA had found that the three apps, identified as Princess Salon, Number Coloring and Cats & Cosplay, were collecting data of users, who happen to be children in most instances, in violation to the Play Store policies, and that this data was potentially leaking to SDKs of third parties.
"The practices we observed in our research raised serious concerns about data practices within these apps," IDAC president Quentin Palfrey told TechCrunch.
The website also got a response from Google, which told it, “We can confirm that the apps referenced in the report were removed. Whenever we find an app that violates our policies, we take action.”
It is not clear what sort of data the three innocent-looking apps were collecting. But these were the apps used by kids as they claimed to gamify learning. A number of such other apps continue to be available on the app stores managed by Google and Apple.
When it comes to the data of children, companies like Apple and Google have more stringent requirements from app developers. The data of children has to be handled more carefully and, in many cases, it cannot be passed on to third parties. In fact, so sensitive are the rules governing use of technology by children in many but not all countries that Google even offers services that are specific to kids, such as the YouTube Kids.
This is not the first time Google has removed apps from its play store. Earlier, the company removed a number of malicious apps from the Play Store. Check the list below and remove them if you have them on your phone.
Source: India Today
BDST: 1322 HRS, OCT 24, 2020