Google Removes Ad-Blocking Apps From Google Play for Violation Of Terms
Usually when Google removes apps from the Play Store it’s because they’re malicious, stealing your data, or otherwise messing with your phone in a way you don’t actually want. Today we’ve learned of Google’s most recent wave of culling apps from the Play Store, only this time the apps themselves weren’t doing anything naughty, and instead Google decided to interpret its Android Developer Distribution Agreement to prohibit all ad-blockers.
Google has decided that all these apps are in violation of Section 4.4 of the Android Developer Distribution Agreement, and has removed all of them from the official storefront.
Even open source software such as AdAway has been removed from the app portal, and is expected to never appear there again.
4.4 Prohibited Actions. You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.
Basically, Google seems to be saying don’t mess with advertising — which is the Web giant’s central source of revenue.
Jared Rummler, the developer for the Ad Blocker Root app, announced on Twitter that his app was yanked from Google Play today.
Some of these apps are still available as cache on the Play Store, but all have been removed the affected developers’ app listings. We’ll update this story as we learn more.