Google recently started sending out emails to App developers, asking them to make sure that their apps are not requesting access to Accessibility Services unless they’re to help disabled users. The search giant basically said that they would remove an app if it doesn’t follow their rules.
Having access to Accessibility Services will give the app the ability to modify commands, map hardware buttons, and make things easier to use. Users with disabilities will have more access to apps thanks to this service.
There are many apps on the Play Store that rely on these services to perform useful actions. However, most of these apps do not follow the rules set forth by Google. And of course, Google doesn’t like this, as some apps can even misuse the power of Accessibility services.
The company is asking developers to provide a good reason explaining the need to use the services in their apps. But that’s not really going to work with most of the apps that use the service. Therefore, if the developers do not agree with Google on this one, they app will be removed from the Play Store and their developer account could be deactivated.
The main reason for Google to limit the use of these services, is because of a recent malware called TOASTAMIGO. Security firmware Trend Micro reported about this malware, and another one by the name of AMIGOCLICKER. Both these malware were found in an app that was downloaded more than 500,000 times.
The malware asks users to provide access to Accessibility Services and then performs malicious tasks in the background. They could then have access to your passwords and other important data. And this is why Google is now being very serious about its rules.
Yes, in the process, we may lose some really useful apps that are available in the Play Store, but we can at least rest easy that our devices aren’t being attacked and passing data to hackers. You can head over here to read more about Accessibility Services, useful apps that currently use this, and more.