The tech giant is also looking to tighten policies in the coming weeks for greater controls in this space.
Google has removed more than 2,000 loaner apps from the Indian Play Store since January this year for violating terms, misrepresenting information and questionable offline behavior, a senior official has said.
The tech giant also plans to tighten its policies in the coming weeks for greater controls in this space, the official said.
Saikat Mitra, Senior Director and Head of Trust and Safety, Google APAC (Asia Pacific Region) said the company is committed to complying with regulations in all jurisdictions in which it operates, and called the damage line of “global phenomenon”.
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Asked about the concerns of some that digital platforms are not doing enough to limit online harm and are actually pushing back new regulations to come, Mitra asserted that Google’s priority and its core values have always been around the user safety.
The company believes in having open, multi-stakeholder dialogues with governments on regulation, he said, adding that “in our world, it all starts with the safety and security of users.”
“We have removed over 2000 lending apps from India Play Store from January till today,” Mitra said, adding that the crackdown was based on leads and contributions received, violation of policy, lack of disclosures and misinformation.
The loan application problem has “climaxed” and could subside given the attention and attention the issue is getting, he suggested.
“We are in the process of making further policy changes which will be published in a few weeks… which will make the requirements more explicit…,” he said, adding that the proposed decision will lead to stricter controls. .
The nature of the “lending apps” problem varies from market to market, Mitra explained. The US market, for example, has a problem with predatory lending, while in India it is a combination of misrepresentation, non-compliance with policies and regulations, and inappropriate behavior offline or “in the real world” of these applications during recovery and other actions.
“It involves questions like… does the loan app clearly disclose what people are signing up for, rates for example… are you tied to a bank or an approved NBFC… This bank is- she’s on the RBI blacklist… she’s also getting into offline stuff that we don’t have visibility for but we’re getting input from law enforcement,” he explained.
On the issue of new government regulations and policies, Mitra said “as regulations come in, we are working closely with government and industry.”
“We think we’re all trying to achieve the same goals…which are privacy and security. We think our policies should really help us get there. As regulation comes in, we have a dialogue and we make sure to present our point of view,” he said.