- Aug 17, 2014
Google seems to be safeguarding its advertising business. The company has confirmed that it will prohibit Android VPN apps on its Play store from interfering with or blocking advertising. Needless to add, this decision could help Google, but it may pose problems for some applications that need privacy and secure transmission of data.
The updated Google Play policy, which outlines specific requirements for VPN services that work on Android devices, was announced last month. It will take effect on November 1.
Google basically asks all VPN service providers to use the Android VPNService base class. Apps that explicitly confirm they offer VPN services and choose to use Google’s VPN API, would be allowed to open a secure device-level tunnel to a remote service.
However, no VPN service should, “manipulate ads that can impact apps monetization”. In other words, VPN service providers may open a secure device-level channel for data exchange that takes place via a remote service. However, services will have to ensure that apps and services that pass through the VPN tunnel retain their communication to ad servers.
The revised Terms and Conditions state that developers must declare the use of VPNservice in their apps' Google Play listing, must encrypt data from the device to the VPN endpoint, and must comply with Developer Program Policies, particularly those related to ad fraud, permissions, and malware.
Google claims it is cracking down on VPN services that track user data and reroute traffic for ad monetization. The company will cripple apps that can interfere with or block advertisements.