Google restricts personal loan apps from accessing user contacts

Google is rolling out new changes to its Play Store policies on personal loan apps, restricting them from accessing Android users’ sensitive data including their photos, videos, contact lists, and fine location.

According to the company’s updated policy page, ‘’apps that provide personal loans, or have the primary purpose of facilitating access to personal loans (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts.’’

As reported by TechCrunch, the update could be due to a growing trend where debt collectors in markets like India and Kenya extract users’ personal contacts via mobile apps to reach out to their family and friends about their unpaid debts. 

Over the last few years, the Android-maker removed thousands of loan apps in India and Kenya over similar abuse reports and violations of its policies. 

Meanwhile, the company also announced that personal loan apps targeting users in Pakistan ‘’must submit country-specific licensing documentation to prove their ability to provide or facilitate personal loans.’’

The new rules will take effect on May 31, 2023. 

Earlier this week, Google also introduced a new account deletion policy for Android apps.

Written by Tuna Cetin


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