Google to Ban Financial Lending Apps From Accessing User Photos, Contacts

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Google plans to restrict apps that offer loans to individuals from accessing sensitive user data such as photos, videos and contacts, as the Android maker steps up its response to the rise of predatory behavior from some lenders that harass borrowers.

It has pushed an update to its Personal Loans policy on Wednesday for apps on Play Store to bring new restrictions prohibiting apps from accessing external storage, photos, videos, contacts, precise location and call logs. The change will come into effect on May 31.

“Apps that provide personal loans, or have the primary purpose of facilitating access to personal loans (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts,” the company said in its update.

According to recent accounts, an emerging trend has raised concerns as certain individuals who have acquired credit via mobile apps have experienced harassment by debt collectors. These recovery agents have allegedly accessed the borrowers’ personal contacts, informing friends and family of outstanding debts. In more extreme cases, agents have employed manipulated images to further intimidate and distress those in debt. Tragically, a number of these targeted individuals have succumbed to the pressure and taken their own lives.

Such instances were well reported in markets in India and Kenya. Google initially responded by blocking hundreds and then thousands of personal loan apps from the Play Store after being alerted by law enforcement agencies and central banks. The company also introduced rules to ban unlicensed loan apps from the Android app store.

Google said it has also introduced the requirement of carrying out specific licensing documentation for apps appearing on the Play Store offering personal loans in Pakistan to “prove their ability to provide or facilitate” credit. The company also made it mandatory for nonbanking financial companies in the country to have only a single digital lending app on the Play Store.

“Developers who attempt to publish more than one DLA per NBFC risk the termination of their developer account and any other associated accounts,” Google said.

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Sarthak Luthra
Sarthak Luthra
Hey, there! I am the tech guy. I get things running around here and I post sometimes. ~ naam toh suna hi hoga, ab kaam bhi dekhlo :-)

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Google to Ban Financial Lending Apps From Accessing User Photos, Contacts

Google plans to restrict apps that offer loans to individuals from accessing sensitive user data such as photos, videos and contacts, as the Android maker steps up its response to the rise of predatory behavior from some lenders that harass borrowers.

It has pushed an update to its Personal Loans policy on Wednesday for apps on Play Store to bring new restrictions prohibiting apps from accessing external storage, photos, videos, contacts, precise location and call logs. The change will come into effect on May 31.

“Apps that provide personal loans, or have the primary purpose of facilitating access to personal loans (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts,” the company said in its update.

According to recent accounts, an emerging trend has raised concerns as certain individuals who have acquired credit via mobile apps have experienced harassment by debt collectors. These recovery agents have allegedly accessed the borrowers’ personal contacts, informing friends and family of outstanding debts. In more extreme cases, agents have employed manipulated images to further intimidate and distress those in debt. Tragically, a number of these targeted individuals have succumbed to the pressure and taken their own lives.

Such instances were well reported in markets in India and Kenya. Google initially responded by blocking hundreds and then thousands of personal loan apps from the Play Store after being alerted by law enforcement agencies and central banks. The company also introduced rules to ban unlicensed loan apps from the Android app store.

Google said it has also introduced the requirement of carrying out specific licensing documentation for apps appearing on the Play Store offering personal loans in Pakistan to “prove their ability to provide or facilitate” credit. The company also made it mandatory for nonbanking financial companies in the country to have only a single digital lending app on the Play Store.

“Developers who attempt to publish more than one DLA per NBFC risk the termination of their developer account and any other associated accounts,” Google said.

Disclaimer

We strive to uphold the highest ethical standards in all of our reporting and coverage. We StartupNews.fyi want to be transparent with our readers about any potential conflicts of interest that may arise in our work. It’s possible that some of the investors we feature may have connections to other businesses, including competitors or companies we write about. However, we want to assure our readers that this will not have any impact on the integrity or impartiality of our reporting. We are committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news and information to our audience, and we will continue to uphold our ethics and principles in all of our work. Thank you for your trust and support.

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Sarthak Luthra
Sarthak Luthra
Hey, there! I am the tech guy. I get things running around here and I post sometimes. ~ naam toh suna hi hoga, ab kaam bhi dekhlo :-)

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