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Google removes ‘stalkerware’ apps with over 130k installs from the Play Store

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Google has removed a number of apps on Google Play that assist users with stalking, revealed a report by Avast on Wednesday.

“Avast detected and reported four of the apps on Tuesday to Google, which removed them from the Play Store,” the antivirus software company said on its blog.

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Researches found that the most popular apps where SMS Tracker and Spy Tracker, which had been installed 50 000 times. The company also noted that all the apps in question had a combined 130 000 installs.

Of course, stalker apps are an invasion of privacy and can be dangerous, allowing users to keep track of and spy on other people.

“They promote criminal behavior, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims. We classify such apps as stalkerware,” explained Avast’s Nikolaos Chrysaidos, head of mobile threat intelligence and security.

The stalkerware apps now removed by Google included; Employee Work Spy, Phone Cell Tracker and Spy Kids Tracker.

Feature image: The Google Play Store by Andy Walker/Memeburn

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