Google Play Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Apps

Google Play Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Apps, Updates Policies to Restrict Other Inappropriate Apps

Developer policies on Google Play (Play Store) are updated to impose a ban on apps that mine Cryptocurrency. The new move comes weeks when Apple updated its App Store Review guidelines with a new section to restrict Cryptocurrency mining apps. The updated developer policies on Play store also prohibits many alternative app categories, including the ones that cover apps with child endanger content and turbulent ads. Google Play (Play Store) saw thirty six billion app downloads within the half of this year, as per a recent sensor Tower reports. Also, android platform has over 2 billion monthly active users – of that, nearly every user access Google Play (Play Store) to download new apps.

As per the updated developer policies, Google has restricted all the apps on the Play store that mine Cryptocurrency on devices. The company has, however, permissible apps that “remotely manage the mining of Cryptocurrency“. This looks just like the updated App Store Review guidelines that included section 3.1.5 (b) to ban on-device Cryptocurrency apps but not the ones in which the “mining is performed in the Cloud or otherwise off-device”

Earlier this year, Google banned the extensions on the Chrome web Store that were providing Cryptocurrency mining. Opera web browser also brought an Anti-Cryptocurrency mining feature on its browser to put the mining of Cryptocurrency on hold.

In addition to the ban of app supporting on-device Cryptocurrency mining, the updated developer policies strictly prohibit all the apps that include content that “sexualizes minors”. Apps that seem to focus on children but contain adult themes are also in the restricted list. Further, Google says that it’ll report back to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of these involved with the distribution of content with child sex offense imaging through any Play store-listed apps. “To ensure that Google Play remains a secure and respectful platform, we’ve created standards defining and prohibiting content that’s harmful or inappropriate for our users,” the updated policies state.

Google Play will currently also restrict apps that promote hate speech, violence, self-harm, discrimination based on factors like race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or the other characteristic. Similarly, the restriction applies to any or all the apps that depict or facilitate “gratuitous violence or alternative dangerous activities”, as well as graphic depictions or descriptions of realistic violence or violent threats to any person or animal. Google also restricts apps that contain sexually express content, like depictions of sex acts or sexually suggestive poses or promotional photos of sex toys and depicts, describes, or encourages bestiality. Further, the common violation of the policies may be considered for the apps that promote escort services or other services “that could also be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation”.

To make the experience safer for users, Google Play also bans apps that facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain gun accessories. It also blocks apps that enable weapons to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire. In the same sense, apps that include instructions on the manufacturing of explosives, firearms, ammunition, and alternative weapons are now prohibited. Apps that are dealing in illegal activities like the marketing, growing, and manufacturing of illegal drugs as well as promoting the use of prescription drugs without a prescription are not allowed in the Play store.

Google has in addition blocked apps on the Play store that are of a repetitive nature. This means the apps that mimic or offer the experiences of an existing app on the Play store will not be available through the official channel on android devices. Also, Google Play can remove apps “that are created by an automatic tool, wizard service, or based on templates and submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons”.

Developers who are set to start their journey with Google Play should read the updated policies completely before proceeding with their apps. The updated policies are available through Google’s Developer Policy Center.