like Apple, has implemented a system on its Android smartphone
operating system that can remotely delete apps when necessary.
The news of this "kill switch" leaked
well over a year ago, but Google has hardly used it. This
week Google announced that it had recently killed some apps remotely,
perhaps for the first time. The company explains in a blog
now and then, we remove applications from Android Market due to
violations of our Android Market Developer
Distribution Agreement or Content
Policy. In cases where users may have installed a malicious
application that poses a threat, we’ve also developed technologies
and processes to remotely remove an installed application from
devices. If an application is removed in this way, users will receive
a notification on their phone.
the apps it removed were the work of a security researcher and not
truly dangerous. The apps were distributed on the Android
market and purposefully misrepresented themselves, but were not
designed to be truly dangerous -- they gained no "resources
researcher eventually removed that apps from the market (likely when
his study was complete) and Google executed a remote kill on the
instances of the two apps that still remained on users'
remote application removal feature is one of many security controls
Android possesses to help protect users from malicious applications.
In case of an emergency, a dangerous application could be removed
from active circulation in a rapid and scalable manner to prevent
further exposure to users. While we hope to not have to use it, we
know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of
users’ safety when needed.
remote removal functionality — along with Android’s
Sandbox and Permissions model, Over-The-Air update system,
centralized Market, developer registrations, user-submitted ratings,
and application flagging — provides a powerful security advantage
to help protect Android users in our open environment.
Google has the right to manage its own business, it's certainly
refreshing to see that it goes the extra mile in communicating and
being so transparent about explaining why its reasoning behind
executing what might otherwise be a controversial feature, when it
of the criticism Apple's iPhone app rejections generated was due to
the fact that they were poorly
explained. It looks like Google is intent on maintaining a
high level of transparency, something which its customers will surely