Google blocks cryptocurrency miners from Play store

The company wants to clean up Google Play, and that starts with getting rid of crypto-miners

Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining

Google has updated its Play store policies to make it safer for Android users, with its new guidelines blocking cryptocurrency mining tools and apps that it believes could endanger children.

The company released its revamped documentation last week to try and clamp down on illegal and questionable practices, stipulating that although apps managing crypto mining are allowed, those that encourage people to use the digital currency mining apps are now banned.

"We don't allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency," the updated rules read. So tools that manage crypto-miners are allowed, but not the mining tools themselves. It comes after Google banned miners from the Chrome Web Store earlier this year, when it blamed "malicious software developers" who tried to "abuse the platform at the expense of users", according to EnGadget.

Additionally, Google has stated it won't allow apps aimed at children that contain "prohibited adult themes" to be submitted to the Play Store, a step to ensure children aren't exposed to apps that seems to be perfectly safe on the surface, but actually contain inappropriate content.

The issue first arose with YouTube content, with some videos claiming to be harmless Disney content such as movies Frozen or Moana, but actually contained adult material. The problem has crossed over into apps now, with seemingly harmless videos broadcasting harmful footage and images to children.

"Apps that include content that sexualizes minors are subject to immediate removal from the Store. Apps that appeal to children but contain adult themes are not allowed," the company's new developer policy states. "If we become aware of content with child sexual abuse imagery, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution."

Other types of apps now prohibited from being submitted to Google Play include firearms-related apps, including those relating to explosives and ammunition.

"We don't allow apps that provide instructions for the manufacture of explosives, firearms, ammunition, restricted firearm accessories, or other weapons," the guidelines added. "This includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic, or simulated automatic, firing capabilities."

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