Home News Google Takes Aim at Loan Apps: Restricting Access to Photos & Contacts

Google Takes Aim at Loan Apps: Restricting Access to Photos & Contacts

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On May 31st, Google is introducing a new law for apps that offer personal loans. This rule might help protect people from being taken advantage of or bullied. Google has changed its policy to stop cash lending apps from looking at the contacts list on your phone. The apps also won’t be able to see pictures and videos stored in your phone or any external storage device.

Google has made some major changes after hearing about people getting harmed and taken advantage of in places like India, Pakistan, Kenya and the Philippines. People in these countries use loan apps that need access to your contacts list and photos from your phone before you can borrow money. These apps are really tempting because they look easy to use and offer fast cash for times when you’re in a tough spot with no other options. But lots of people have difficulty paying back their loans because of the extremely high interest rates that come along with them. This often leads to people being abused or mistreated by the loan companies.

People who owed money would get really mean text messages from people who worked for these services. These texts contained bad words and they were sent to all their contacts, including random people they didn’t even know. Some of the messages even threatened them and their family with physical harm. It got so bad that some people had thoughts of suicide as a result.

Google has made some rules to try and control loan sharks. To do this, they asked for documents from government agencies in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, and Pakistan. In America, Google banned apps that gave out loans with too high of interest rates back in 2019. Also in Pakistan, only certain types of companies will be able to get apps approved by May 31st.

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A year ago, a big tech company made it harder to get loan apps in my country. Despite that, you can still find tons of these apps and lots of people are having trouble with their agents. Google blocking the loan applications from getting people’s phone numbers looks like a good move though.

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