• Home
  • Apps
  • Apps News
  • Google Says It ‘Immediately Removed’ Personal Loan Apps in India Violating User Safety Policies

Google Says It ‘Immediately Removed’ Personal Loan Apps in India Violating User Safety Policies

Google has started sending emails to developers of personal loan apps to furnish documents within five days.

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
Google Says It ‘Immediately Removed’ Personal Loan Apps in India Violating User Safety Policies

Photo Credit: Reuters

Google said it reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in the country

Highlights
  • Google released a blog post to provide clarity on loan apps in India
  • Several users reported harassment issues by recovery agents
  • Google’s response comes just a day after RBI formed a working group

Google India on Thursday revealed that it “immediately removed” personal loan apps from Play store for violating its user safety policies. The company wrote in a blog post that it reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in the country based on flags submitted by users and government agencies. The new move comes months after several users raised issues against some mobile apps offering short-term loans harassing customers in case of non-payments. Some of the affected customers alleged that the apps were accessing their contact details, which were allegedly used by recovery agents to bully them.

Although Google didn't provide the number of apps being removed by the latest decision, it mentioned that the developers of the remaining identified apps were asked to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations.

“Apps that fail to do so will be removed without further notice,” said Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy, in the blog post.

Reuters noted in its investigation that at least 10 Indian lending apps on Google Play had no clarity on repayment lengths. That was a clear breach of Google's rules for apps offering personal loans.

Google said that it only allowed personal loan apps with full repayment required in greater than or equal to 60 days from the date the loan is issued.

Some affected customers informed local authorities that various short-term loan apps were charging hefty interest that they weren't aware of while applying for loans. It was also found that in many cases, the lending apps were accessing contacts that were used to harass customers in case of defaults or late payments.

Frey said that developers must only request necessary permissions to implement current features or services. “They should not use permissions that give access to user or device data for undisclosed, unimplemented, or disallowed features or purposes,” she said.

Google has started sending out emails to the developers of lending apps to furnish documents related to approvals or licenses within five days. Sources familiar with the development told Gadgets 360 that the company delisted at least 100 apps from the Play store in the last 10 days. One of the first apps that were removed by Google seemed to be the Udhaar Loan app that was pulled in late December — after its recovery agents were found bullying some customers.

 

Some victims of bullying and harassments by recovery agents reportedly committed suicide in recent months. Gadgets 360 learnt that the Hyderabad police sent a list of 286 apps in total from their arrests to Google over harassing cases. The company assured that it would continue to work with law enforcement agencies in their investigation on the matter.

On Wednesday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) responded to the recent concerns raised by customers and formed a working group to look at digital lending in the country. The central bank is, however, yet to frame specific rules around lending apps in the country.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Jagmeet Singh Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
Steam 2020 Year in Review Shows Total Hours Spend Playing Games Doubled Compared to 2019

Related Stories

Read in: हिंदी
 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2021. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com