Google cracks down on personal loan apps in India following abuse and outcry – ProWellTech
Google said Thursday that it has withdrawn some personal loan apps from the Play Store in India and was implementing stronger measures to prevent abuse following reports that several companies were targeting vulnerable borrowers in the country and thus committed to fund to get their money back.
The Android maker said that users and government agencies in India have recently reported several personal loan apps, and the company has reviewed hundreds of them. The review found that an identified number of apps violated Play Store security policies and were immediately removed from the Store.
Google said it asked the developers of the remaining apps identified to prove that their apps comply with applicable local laws and regulations. “Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice. We will also continue to assist law enforcement in investigating this issue,” the company said.
In recent months, users have identified several lending apps, including 10MinuteLoan and Ex-Money in India, which granted small ticket loans (typically between $ 100 and $ 200) to people for short periods and then charged high processing fees. .
When borrowers struggled to pay off their debt in the short term, debt collection agents on behalf of some loan apps threatened to embarrass them in front of their friends, colleagues and family, among other tactics. In November, the local Indian Express newspaper reported that a 23-year-old man committed suicide after being bullied by a money lending app.
To avoid such abuse, Google said the Play Store will only allow personal apps that require customers to refund within 60 days or more.
“To protect user privacy, developers need to request only the permissions necessary to implement current features or services. They must not use permissions that give access to user or device data for undisclosed, unimplemented, or prohibited functions or purposes. Developers must also use the data only for purposes that the user has consented to, and if they later wish to use the data for other purposes, they must obtain the user’s permission for the additional uses, “wrote Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy, in a blog post.
More to follow …