Google will ban VPN apps that block ads on Android

Developers will now have to use a VPN API provided by Google and will therefore no longer be able to block ads within apps.

If you’re using a VPN app to block ad content on your Android smartphone, take advantage of it, as it shouldn’t last much longer. The Mountain View giant has indeed updated the terms and conditions of use of its mobile application store and will soon ban VPN applications that block advertising on the device. Announced last month, this new policy imposed on developers will take effect from 1er next November.

From this date, developers of VPN applications on Android will have to comply and will be required to use the VPNService API provided by Google. Without it, the application will not be able to open a secure communication tunnel between the device and the remote service.

In the description provided to developers on its support page, Google indicates the uses not authorized by it. The firm thus clearly displays that “the VPNService class does not allow […] manipulation of ads that may affect the monetization of the application”. In other words, developers will have to ensure that the use of their VPN does not prevent applications and services that pass through it from communicating with the ad servers in place.

In addition, developers will need to clearly state on their app’s Play Store listing that it uses its VPNService API. They will also be asked to encrypt data between the device and the VPN tunnel endpoint “, but also of” Comply fully with the Developer Program Policies, including Ad Fraud, Permissions, and Malware policies”.

Applications that block trackers and other advertising content within third-party applications may therefore see their operation called into question once this new rule is in place.

To justify the implementation of this new policy, Google explains that it wants to take measures to combat fraudulent VPN applications. Under the cover of providing a VPN service, malicious developers are actually using the protocol to track user data and monetize their application by redirecting advertising traffic to other servers.

Source :

The Register

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