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Google Bans Stalking Apps

News

Tech World

July 13, 2020, 12:06 p.m.

Google has announced that "stalkerware" apps will not be able to advertise on its platform anymore starting August 11 in a latest advertising policy update.

The ad ban is themed "better late than never."

The stalkerware is a type of monitoring software that is largely used by individuals to stalk the movements and activities of their spouses or partners.

Google will not allow ads which include text, call, and GPS tracking apps, as well as anything generally advertised with the purpose of stalking someone without their consent.

Hardware like cameras and audio recorders that are explicitly marketed as spying devices will also be banned.

Offenders will have their accounts suspended with at least a seven-day warning ahead of time.

Google also does not allow stalkerware apps on Play Store, and occasionally removes batches of them after they slip through the cracks.

Last year groups like the Electric Frontier Foundation and NortonLifeLock partnered up to form a Coalition Against Stalkerware.

The website has educational materials as well safety resources for victims.

A NortonLifeLock study released earlier in 2020 showed that 46 percent of Americans admitted to cyber-stalking a partner or ex in some form, with men being more than twice as likely to use apps to do it than women.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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