Stalkerware apps

Apps seem to be leaving play store loopholes for gooing action for survival

Google has unveiled an update to its Play Store app market rules, which it says should ban “Stalkerware apps” for good.

In the wake of global opposition, the company has moved to block gooing action applications that allow a third party to monitor victim equipment.

Recent research has shown that there are hundreds of similar services available for download through the Google Play Store, which allows users to spy on their families, partners, children, or strangers. Such applications are often not detected on the victim’s devices, which means they are very malicious and difficult to remove.

Stalkerware Apps ban

The news came in an update to Google’s developer program policy, where the company said it would seek “appropriate notification or consent” to track users of any application and send their personal information to another device.

Such applications are required to show a “consistent notification” that they are tracking user activity.

The new rules, which take effect from October 1 after a grace period that allows developers to make changes, will try to ban apps that do not make these updates, blocking them from the Play Store.

However, Google claims that there are some “acceptable forms” for such applications – for parents who track their children.

“Policy compliant apps designed and sold solely for parental (including family) monitoring or organization management are only distributed on the Play Store with tracking and reporting features,” Google commented.

This means that Stalkerware  manufacturers can update and redesign their applications to target parents, which actually allows criminals or abusers to continue using the Services as before.

Google previously released an updated advertising policy in July that prohibits sellers from advertising any product they use to track or track another person without permission. The company has set an August 11 deadline for companies to remove defamatory ads.

A report from Avast found a 51% increase in online google activity and Stalkerware applications worldwide during the lock period.