Google Play Bans Stalkerware and ‘Misrepresentation’
Google has announced that its Play Store will enforce stricter bans prohibiting the sale of spy and surveillance ware that could potentially contribute to political influence campaigns. Starting on October 1, any application that could allow someone to track the user’s location or online activity will be removed from the store. Google has defined stalkerware as a code that transmits personal information extracted from one’s device without notice or consent, including GPS trackers, phone calls, or browsing history.
Not only are these applications a threat to national security and personal privacy, but they can also allow for abusers to leverage their capabilities for the purposes of stalking, harassment, and surveillance. Google also stated that any consent-based tracking apps must comply with updated parameters. This includes a ban on marketing themselves as spying or secret-surveillance solutions, such as nanny cams.