Google wants to restrict certain VPNs on Android

Alexander Schmid

August 31, 2022 at 4:35 p.m.


Android VPN © NordVPN

© NordVPN

The VPN on Android will have to comply with new rules. For some of them, blocking ads on third-party apps is going to get complicated.

Google has updated the Google Play Developer Policy, and there will be changes for VPN apps, which will have to adapt to the new policy by 1er November 2022.

VPNs no longer have carte blanche to block ads on Android

The biggest concern for VPN vendors is that this type of service will now be banned from all “ Ad manipulation that may affect app monetization “. However, many VPN platforms offer this kind of functionality, in order to obtain a competitive advantage and enrich their offers, which they can thus sell at a higher price.

Google claims to be cracking down on apps that use the VPN service to track user data or redirect user traffic to earn money from ads. However, these policy changes also apply to apps that use the service to filter traffic locally on the device. », Regrets Reda Labdaoui, of the Swedish application Blokada, a VPN which blocks advertisements.

Quoted byThe Register, Reda Labdaoui believes that Blokada should not be affected by this restriction, because the application filters content in the cloud without violating Google’s device policies. But he fears that other services are not so lucky.

Not all VPNs are affected

DuckDuckGo for Android has a local VPN service and may be affected by this new rule. According to a spokesperson for the web browser, the company is still studying details of the Play Store’s upcoming policy to find out if it might be affected by the changes. Other potential victims include Jumbo, downloaded more than 100,000 times on the Play Store for a rating of 4.5/5.

Google has a long history of making life difficult for developers of ad blockers on Android. The firm explains that it does not allow “ content that harms the operation of networks, servers or other infrastructure of Google or third parties, or that interferes with “.

In its regulations, two other limitations are imposed on VPN services on Android. These relate to:

  • The collection of sensitive or personal data without visible communication or request for consent;
  • Redirecting or manipulating user traffic from other apps to a device for monetization purposes (redirecting ad traffic through a country other than the user’s, etc.).

Sources: The Register, Google

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