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It's back to the fake nose and wig as Google bans fake ID apps

Google's decision to ban fake ID apps comes after it pulled more than 700,000 dodgy apps in 2017.

Published onApril 10, 2018

Fake ID apps on the Play Store.
  • Google has banned fake ID generator apps from the Play Store.
  • The company made the announcement via an update on its Developer Policy Center.
  • A cursory search of the Play Store reveals a ton of offending apps are still live.

You really can’t be surprised that there are Android apps claiming to help create fake IDs. After all, the Play Store has been home to many dodgy apps. However, Google has decided to crack down on this particular category.

In an update on its Developer Policy Center (and first seen by Android Police), the company explicitly calls out apps that claim to facilitate or generate these important documents.

“We don’t allow apps that help users to mislead others, including, but not limited to, apps that generate or facilitate the generation of ID cards, social security numbers, passports, diplomas, credit cards and driver’s licenses,” reads the updated policy.

Google removed 700K apps from the Play Store in 2017 for violating policies

Prank apps or those claiming to be “for entertainment purposes” aren’t exempt from the policy, Google adds.

The move to ban fake ID apps marks the latest attempt by Google to clean up the Play Store. A few months ago, the company revealed that it removed over 700,000 apps from the storefront for policy violations. The Mountain View company claimed that 99% of dodgy apps were removed before anyone had downloaded them.

The real question is whether Google will actively enforce the policy as right now a search for “fake ID” or “fake ID apps” brings up a ton of results (as seen in the screengrab above). It’s still early days though, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Up next: Apple App Store still making nearly twice as much money as Google Play Store

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