MUMBAI (INDIA) – In an attempt to safeguard users, Alphabet Inc’s Google has announced that it has removed some lending apps from Play Store.
“We have reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India, based on flags submitted by users and government agencies,” Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy said through Google’s blog post.
Google did not elaborate on the number of apps that had been taken down.
The firm has contacted companies and asked them to clarify if they are compliant with the rules and regulations, failing which an app could be removed from the Play Store.
“We ask you to confirm within five days of this mail whether you hold valid existing approvals or licences from the Reserve Bank of India to act as a NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) or are registered under any applicable state legislation to offer such services or are offering services on your app as a designated agent of a registered NBFC/Bank,” said the email.
“If we do not receive this confirmation from you within 5 days of this mail, your app may be removed from Google Play.”
Authorities took note of the online lending industry after at least two suicides in the past month linked to alleged harassment by recovery agents of such apps.
Google said developers must only access permissions that are necessary to implement current features and services.
“They should not use permissions that give access to user or device data for undisclosed, unimplemented, or disallowed features or purposes,” Google said in its post.
It said it would ensure apps complied with local laws and regulations. “Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice,” it said.