Ars Technica: Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful ‘accessibility’ apps

Ars Technica: Public outcry causes Google to rethink banning powerful ‘accessibility’ apps. “A month ago, Google started warning developers about a coming crackdown on apps that use the Android accessibility APIs for things other than accessibility. For years, the accessibility APIs have been a way for power-user apps to hook into the operating system, but Google apparently had a change of heart last month, telling developers they had 30 days to explain how an app using the Accessibility APIs was helping a user with disabilities or face removal from the Play Store.”

Study: Vast Majority Of Google Play Apps Are Covertly Tracking Users (Gizmodo)

Gizmodo: Study: Vast Majority Of Google Play Apps Are Covertly Tracking Users. “A new study by France’s Exodus Privacy and the Yale University Privacy lab has concluded that over three out of four of apps available on the Google Play Store contain third-party tracking plugins, the Guardian reported today. Apps sucking up personal information included some of the most popular ones on the platform, ‘including Tinder, Spotify, Uber and OKCupid’, as well as innumerable others.”

Phandroid: Malware targeting several bank customers found on Google Play

Phandroid: Malware targeting several bank customers found on Google Play . “Avast has released a new report detailing a new kind of malware called BankBot that targets customers of large banks including Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank, and DiBa (formerly ING). Customers of these banks across several different countries were affected by the malware which has now been removed from Google Play.”

Lauren Weinstein: Google’s Extremely Shortsighted and Bizarre New Restrictions on Accessibility Services

Lauren Weinstein: Google’s Extremely Shortsighted and Bizarre New Restrictions on Accessibility Services. “My inbox has been filling today with questions regarding Google’s new warning to Android application developers that they will no longer be able to access Android accessibility service functions in their apps, unless they can demonstrate that those functions are specifically being used to help users with ‘disabilities’ (a term not defined by Google in the warning). Beyond the overall vagueness when it comes to what is meant by disabilities, this entire approach by Google seems utterly wrongheaded and misguided.”

MediaPost: Google Hit With New Privacy Suit For Sharing Data With App Developers

Wandering by Santa Clara Law Digital Commons (as you do) and came across what looks like a class-action lawsuit filed against Google, one with which I was not familiar. The 72-page filing is available here, but MediaPost also has a writeup: Google Hit With New Privacy Suit For Sharing Data With App Developers. “Google is facing a new lawsuit over allegations that it shared the names and other personally identifiable information of people who purchased apps with developers. This latest complaint was brought by Minnesota resident Adam Gurno, who alleges that he purchased nine apps totaling more than $26 from the Google Play Store between 2012 and 2014. Gurno alleges that Google transmitted his name, email address and ZIP code to the developers without his consent.”

The Verge: Google’s new app lets parents turn old Android tablets into kid-friendly devices

The Verge: Google’s new app lets parents turn old Android tablets into kid-friendly devices. “Google’s Family Link app lets parents hand down their old Android gadgets to their kids without worrying about what they could end up downloading from the Play Store or finding online. They just have to create a Google account for their kids and download the app, which went public today.”