The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is removing privacy-protecting apps from its mobile apps store:
Google Tuesday removed a smartphone app called “Disconnect Mobile” from its Android Play store because it violated a policy prohibiting software that interferes with other apps.
Interference was precisely the point of Disconnect Mobile, a privacy tool aimed at stopping other apps from collecting data on users. In the six days it was available in Google’s store, it was downloaded more than 5,000 times.
Disconnect, a San Francisco startup that spent a year and $300,000 to develop the app, says it was careful to build its product according to Google’s rules, but that the policies are so vague that Google could, in essence, ban any app in its store. [...]
Google has banned similar ad-blocking apps before because they, too, could interfere with other apps.