Google Removes Legit Cryptocurrency Mining App From Play Store
Cryptomining has simmered down a bit in terms of noise but such has not stopped folks from finding apps and programs to mine. Crypto-jacking has become a threat to most, a prime reason why Google is trying to do its part in assessing and removing apps from the Play Store.
While the intent is laudable, Google may have overlooked figuring out legitimate apps from the harmful ones. According to the Next Web, the Mountain View-based company erroneously banned a legitimate app that had over one million installations.
The app in mention is MinerGate, a program that could be run on mobile devices or through the cloud. Aware that there are some things that they needed to address to satisfy Google’s terms of service, MinerGate took out the on-device mining feature from the app. The developer had initially decommissioned the mining ability to meet Google’s standards. However, this did not stop it from getting purged from the Play Store.
Making matters worse was the fact that there are a number of apps who have yet to update their programs to meet Google’s terms of service. They remain to be live on the Play Store, something that garnered the ire of MinerGate reps, saying that they were improperly banned by Google Play.
Google has yet to explain the reason behind the sudden removal although it does show a glitch somewhere in terms of enforcing its updated terms of service. Mining apps are scarce in the Play Store, although figuring out their method of screening has somewhat come under fire.
For those who are unaware, Google updated its developer policy back in July disallowing apps that mine cryptocurrency. Apps concerned were given 30 days to comply with the new policy. Aside from MinerGate, other apps already taken out were AA Miners and Free BCH Miners. However, there are still five apps up (the ones singled out by MinerGate). These are NeoNeonMiner, Crypto Miner Pro, Pocket Miner and Pickaxe, Coingeek said.
It is possible that any of these remaining apps could be next although they are likely taking the necessary steps to comply with Google’s new terms of service – particularly the part where phone owners are able to mine via their phone.
The inconsistencies have once again placed Google in a bad light with how the company decides and fends off apps that go against their policies. Although an app of a different nature, Google also came under fire for exposing a security flaw on Fortnite.
As mentioned in a previous post, Epic Games and Google continue to debate on such although it seems more like payback for the former opting to distribute that game outside the Play Store.