Google Cracks Whip On Instant Loan Apps In India; Regulates & Imposes New, Strict Rules
Google has released its ‘Developer Program Policy’ on July 28, which will make the whole data handling policies for users transparent on Google Playstore.
App developers will now have to disclose the app’s access, collection, use, and sharing of the data with the users.
“The new safety section will provide developers a simple way to showcase their app’s overall safety. Developers will be able to give users deeper insight into their privacy and security practices, as well as explain the data the app may collect and why, all before users install the app,” states Google’s blog.
Strict Rules for Personal Loan Apps in India
Google has released new strict guidelines for personal loan apps in India, which app developers will have to comply with by September 15, 2021.
Google had removed several short loan apps in January, after receiving tons of complaints from customers as well as government agencies.
App developers will have to provide an in-app disclosure of how they access data, collect them, use and share the same. This app-disclosure must:
- Be in the app itself, besides the app description or on a website,
- Be found easily in the normal usage of the app and not require the user to navigate into a menu or settings,
- It must describe the data being accessed or collected,
- How the data will be used and/or shared,
- Cannot be combined with other disclosures unrelated to personal and sensitive user data collection..
If the app handles financial or payment information or government identification numbers, like a personal loan handling app, it must never publicly disclose any personal and sensitive user data related to financial or payment activities or any government identification numbers.
Apps will need to complete a ‘Personal Loan App Declaration for India’.
Submission of necessary documentation to support their declaration will also be required. For instance, an app which has received the requisite license from the Reserve Bank of India for disbursing personal loans, will have to submit a copy of this license to Google too, for reviewing purposes.
According to a blog post by Google in January, in order to ensure that users are making sound choices, Google will only allow personal loan apps with full repayment required in greater than or equal to 60 days from the date the loan is issued.
To protect user privacy, developers must only request permissions that are necessary 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.
Furthermore, developers are strictly instructed to use data for purposes that the user has consented to, and if they later want to use the data for other purposes, they must obtain user permission for the additional uses.