November 23, 2017
Google play

Google To Remove (from the Play Store) Applications Using Accessibility Services Not Meant Disabled Users

Google has plans to axe all applications that it says do not comply with its “Permissions policy and Prominent Disclosure requirements.” Some of the developers who are using a special API that is meant for creation of apps for users with disabilities to create their own apps that have other purposes have been contacted by Google to make changes to their apps as soon as possible.

There are quite a number of applications that use this API including LastPass and these are the ones Google is targeting. Google is not happy with these developers as they use the API to add functionality to their applications even though they nothing to do with the initial content.

Some developers use the API to fill in text, overlay content and so much more. Google says that using this API can create a security risk once the user grants the right permissions.

Apps requesting accessibility services should only be used to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps. Your app must comply with our Permissions policy and the Prominent Disclosure requirements of our User Data policy. Action required: If you aren’t already doing so, you must explain to users how your app is using the ‘android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE’ to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps.

The interesting question now is, what about the apps using the API for the right purpose (i.e. apps meant to help disabled people)? Aren’t they exposed to the security risks Google is talking about? Will they be removed? Google has not said anything about those.

Google says that applications that fail to meet its requirements in the next 30 days will be axed from the Play Store. If you are a developer, the better option is to remove requests for accessibility services you have on your app.

Also Read: Google Adds A “Free App Of The Week’ Section On The Play Store

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