Google Remotely Kills 2 Apps from Android Handsets


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Google recently admitted to exercising one of its security features for the Android platform and apps in the Android Market. Google said it maintains the right to remove applications that violate its terms of service from the Android Market and from end-user handsets. It discovered two applications that violated its terms of use, and took steps to secure end-user devices. Google explained, "Recently, we became aware of two free applications built by a security researcher for research purposes. These applications intentionally misrepresented their purpose in order to encourage user downloads, but they were not designed to be used maliciously, and did not have permission to access private data. As the applications were practically useless, most users uninstalled the applications shortly after downloading them. After the researcher voluntarily removed these applications from Android Market, we decided, per the Android Market Terms of Service, to exercise our remote application removal feature on the remaining installed copies to complete the cleanup." Google didn't name the two applications. Google said that if actual dangerous applications were spread via the Android Market to handsets, it could remove those apps quickly to protect end users.

More: Android Developers Blog: Exercising Our Remote Application Removal Feature