According to a senior official (source - PTI), Google has banned more than 2,000 loan apps from the India Play Store since January due to terms of service violations, misrepresentations of data, and dubious offline behaviour. In order to increase checks in this area, the internet giant also plans to tighten procedures in the upcoming weeks, the official said.
Online violence is a "global phenomenon," according to Saikat Mitra, Senior Director and Head of Trust and Safety at Google APAC (Asia Pacific area). The company is dedicated to compliance with laws in all nations it operates in.
Loan Application Issue that Led to a Ban
When questioned about worries in certain quarters that the digital platforms are not doing enough to prevent online harm and are actually resisting additional rules, Mitra argued that user safety has always been Google's top priority and one of its basic values. He said that "in our view, everything starts with user safety and security." The company supports open, multi-party industry talks with governments on regulation.
"Since January, we have deleted more than 2000 loan apps from the India Play Store," Mitra said, adding that the crackdown was based on leads and inputs received, policy violations, a lack of disclosures, and false information. According to him, the lending app issue has "peaked" and may go away, given the attention it is receiving.
The "loan app" problem has different forms in different markets. Predatory lending is a problem in the US market, for example, but misrepresentation, non-compliance with rules and laws, and incorrect offline or "real world" behaviour of such applications on recovery and other actions are the issues in India.
Google engages closely with the government and industry as new regulations and government policies are introduced, according to Mitra. "We believe that everyone is working toward the same objectives, which are respecting privacy and security. We believe that our policies ought to contribute to this outcome. We engage in conversation and make sure to share our viewpoint as and when regulation is introduced," he added.