NEW DELHI: Android apps that provide free health tips and ways to remain fit by promoting illegal substances will no longer remain on Google Play Store. Google has announced that it will be kicking out all apps that “promote or sell unapproved substances, irrespective of any claims of legality.” Google will also ban apps that sell unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals and supplements and will monitor all such apps for any discrepancies.
Google has also mentioned that any “non-government approved products that are marketed in a way that implies that they’re safe or effective for use in preventing a particular disease” will also get banned. This means any, otherwise innocent looking health tips app, will get banned if the tips are not approved by the government.
Google has also mentioned that apps that sell products containing ephedra or products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in relation to weight loss or weight control, or when promoted in conjunction with anabolic steroids, will get banned as well. Also, apps promoting “herbal and dietary supplements with active pharmaceutical or dangerous ingredients” will find on place on the official Android Google Play Store.
Also, any content related to alternative medicine or medical procedure that is not approved by the government will also be removed from the Play Store. “False or misleading health claims, including claims implying that a product is as effective as prescription drugs or controlled substances,” added Google in the updated Developer Policy plage.
Apart from health risks, Google is also looking for malicious apps. Google recently removed 22 apps from its Play Store. The search giant removed the apps after security researcher Sophos found that these apps are being used for ad fraud by hackers. The list includes some of the popular apps like Sparkle Flashlight with 1 million-plus downloads. “From the user’s perspective, these apps drain their phone’s battery and may cause data overages as the apps are constantly running and communicating with servers in the background. Furthermore, the devices are fully controlled by the C2 server and can potentially install any malicious modules upon the instructions of the server,” warned the Sophos report.