“SpyLoan” apps targeting Indian users banned by Google from Play Store

Google has banned 17 apps from its Play Store for targeting Indian users with predatory loans and data harvesting. These apps, dubbed “SpyLoan” apps by researchers, were designed to exploit the trust that users place in legitimate loan providers.

The ban comes after India’s Ministry of Home Affairs requested the ban of 117 gaming, dating, and loan apps from Google Play for sharing Indian data with China, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

In March 2023, India’s government reportedly banned 14 messaging apps on national security grounds, including some open-source services.

The ban of these apps has caused concern among the FOSS community, as these applications have been crucial for communication during disasters and are used regularly.

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