Google Play Store Cracks Down On Sketchy Apps, Porn

Google Play

Well, that’s not quite true as Google got up to its old tricks today by adding 150 Pokeman characters to Google Maps asking you to find them. There is also the promise of a fictitious job at the company for a Pokemon Master if you’re able to hunt down all 150.

No more porn

But in a serious move today, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has all but banned anything even remotely pornographic on apps in the Google Play Store. According to Google, this includes sexually explicit or erotic content, icons, titles, or descriptions. In particular, the company states a zero tolerance policy towards child sexual abuse imagery, and will report any content it becomes aware of to the appropriate authorities, along with deleting the Google accounts of those involved with the distribution.

Additionally, the company is aiming to remove ads that offer the following:

  • Promotion via deceptive ads on websites, apps or other properties, including simulated system, service, or app notifications or alerts.
  • Promotion or install tactics which cause redirection to Google Play or the download of the app without informed user action.
  • Unsolicited promotion via SMS service

“Developers must not mislead users about the apps they are selling nor about any in-app services, goods, content or functionality they are selling. If your product description on Google Play refers to in-app features to which a specific or additional charge applies, your description must clearly notify users that payment is required to access those features,” reads the new policy change.

Bitcoin mining malware

Many have called for these bans in the past and have believed that Google has done little to avoid their presence in the Google Play Store. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Google’s removal of two malware apps that installed bit-mining software without the owners’ knowledge in order to run in the background.

“Mining can be incredibly resource-intensive and, if allowed to run without any limits, could potentially damage hardware by causing it to overheat and even burn out,” wrote Marc Rogers, a principal security researcher with Lookout Mobile Security. “Users affected by this malware will find their phones getting warm and their battery-life massively shortened.”

With nearly 50,000 known malware programs in the Google Play Store, today’s policy change may or may not make a difference.



About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com