Google's new policy restricts ads for tracking technology and spyware

Joanna Estrada
July 14, 2020

The move is created to make it even harder to reach potential customers for the apps, which are also banned from Google's and Apple's stores.

Stalkerware or spyware apps are disturbingly common. Google and Apple have also removed numerous apps from their platforms, nevertheless they are still available from app-makers's websites.

A group of advocates, antivirus companies and legal experts, have already formed the "Coalition Against Stalkerware" to deal with such kinds of people.

The analysts, at the hour of distributing the study, said that Google had begun to limit advertisements for search terms that empower cozy accomplice surveillance. Under the hood, they might still become stalkerware apps, as security writer Graham Cluley stated in a blog post Friday.

Google didn't respond to a request to clarify the exception in the policy update.

"The updated policy will prohibit the promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express objective of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization.", the Alphabet-owned company said in its blog.

According to Google, the company takes enforcement action against companies that hide the true goal of their apps with deceptive practices. So you have time to make changes before your account is suspended. Other services now listed by Google include "hacking services, stealing cable, radar jammers, changing traffic signals, phone or wire-tapping".

The company also urged users to review this policy and warned that entities who violate these updated guidelines might face suspension.

"We routinely update our language with guides to help explain what we consider strategy abusing". For those unaware, stalkerware refers to spyware apps that are made for couples who would install them on their partner's device without their consent in order to trace their location and other smartphone activities.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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