App Factory App Accused of Uploading User Data !!!

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whitedavidp

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Jan 11, 2022, 1:05:02 AM (7 days ago) Jan 11
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I wrote an app and have had it on Google Play for some time now. Just this evening I have been sent an email from Google Play saying the app was removed. The notice says:

Your app is uploading users' Installed Application information to https://www.googleapis.com/drive/v3/files without a prominent disclosure.

I have no idea what this is about. My Tasker code makes absolutely no use of anything like this. I do not know but have to wonder if the underlying, Tasker codebase is doing so.

Please help clarify what might be happening.

Thanks

whitedavidp

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Jan 11, 2022, 1:24:00 AM (7 days ago) Jan 11
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BTW - I have searched the APK file for the string "googleapis" and it is not found. I have searched for the string "https" and it is only found in the names of resource files. It seems possible that this is yet another Google screw up. And I have asked fro more details/proof. But in case anyone knows about this, I would appreciate any information that you can provide.

Thanks

João Dias

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Jan 11, 2022, 8:35:22 AM (7 days ago) Jan 11
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I got the same kind of issue for Tasker itself. Luckily they gave me 7 days to "fix" it. In my case they were complaining that Tasker was uploading user's SMS and contact information. Obviously Tasker isn't doing that at all by itself, so I added a bunch of line to the privacy policy: https://tasker.joaoapps.com/privacy.html

After some back and forth they finally accepted it.

Hope this helps!

João Dias


Nate Mutti

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Jan 11, 2022, 8:59:18 AM (7 days ago) Jan 11
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whitedavidp

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Jan 11, 2022, 11:06:07 AM (6 days ago) Jan 11
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Thanks. I understand your need/desire to keep Tasker on the Play Store. But the app in question has a whole 4 users and quite frankly I am tired of all the hoops and obstacles that Google keeps placing in front of app developers in the name of "privacy" and "security". To think that forcing changes to "privacy policy" text makes one iota of difference to user privacy is simply theater. We all know that users don't even read this stuff and that most would not know what it all means if they did. In my case, I have told Google to go butt a stump!

I appreciate Tasker and all it does for me. It makes my Android devices more useful than anyone can imagine. I liked the idea of sharing my work with others through app factory and Play Store. It is a great idea and mechanism. But it is not worth my time and effort any more.

Cheers

Brenden M

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Jan 11, 2022, 1:21:29 PM (6 days ago) Jan 11
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Honestly, in the situation where you don't have a business ambition to keep updated to stay current with arbitrary policy (I don't blame you for that), but you have only 4 users, if they really appreciate your APK, "installing from an unknown source" and manually installing the APK after you send it to them manually is a REALLY efficient method with an email attachment and some manual install instructions, for only 4 users... If you had 100s+ and growing was the intention, this would be a lot worse.

It would be nice to be easier of course, which is on Google not Tasker here...

whitedavidp

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Jan 11, 2022, 4:32:44 PM (6 days ago) Jan 11
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Oh yes, this is a Google issue, not at all a Tasker one. I only posted here to see what was up, not to blame Tasker.

At least in my case, it seems that Google mis-interprets the fact that an app MIGHT be able to do something with the fact that it really DOES do something. Their notice to me was quite specific "Your app is uploading users' Installed Application information".

At this point, I pretty much never intend to put anything new on Play Store in the future. I have already un-published many of my apps because the constant changes and requirements (for less than stellar reasons) just became too much trouble and not worth the effort. And it certainly will no significantly impact my "revenue stream" :-)

I have not had to "build" this app using App Factory for some time now. So I have no idea what it might do with regards this situation. Given what we know now from João and my experience, perhaps App Factory might want to warn users that if they plan to put the resulting app on Play Store, they need to be aware of this issue (and maybe even suggest some language that João found to work to convince Google).

Cheers

D Mays

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Jan 15, 2022, 7:18:31 PM (2 days ago) Jan 15
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I apologize greatly, 


   If any harm was done I will as a growing developer work on anything I can to help our situating and sorting the problem out.  It was out of complete mistake and ignorance to to still not have my account secured.   

As I said I am a growing developer and if you could help me collaborate with my partners and have any individual information to help me I am all ears.  

         Thank you Brendan and again my apologies  for the inconvenience and shear and utter ignorance bon my behalf.  
                  

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns personally at 8306311644 

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