Google lately eliminated a number of apps from the Google Play Store after discovering they violated the Play Store terms of service—and, more importantly, might be used as stalkerware. That doesn’t imply they’re deleted out of your Android system, though, so now’s a good time to take away them.
For those who’re unfamiliar with the phrase, “stalkerwere” includes giving third party access to a different person’s device, location data, and different delicate data. These apps usually present themselves as “normal” tracking tools—for worker activity on company phones or your kids’ whereabouts (a moral grey area to start with), however, they can be used to spy on romantic partners, friends, or roommates.
These apps run afoul of Google’s policies for apps distributed via Google Play: “Surveillance and Commercial Spyware apps are explicitly prohibited on Google Play. Only policy-compliant apps completely designed and marketed for parental (including family) monitoring or enterprise management might distribute on the Store with monitoring and reporting options, provided they totally comply with the necessities described below.”
As a part of these necessities, tracking apps should clearly present that they’re active and can’t mislead customers about their purpose. In different words, apps that attempt to hide on a consumer’s device and send their location data to another person are a no-go. Security company Avast was liable for highlighting these seven stalkerware apps to Google.