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Google Sued Over Defective Android Apps

Published: March 20, 2012 | 9:38 am
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They’re still trying to figure out which circle to place it in.

Google may have escaped the class action privacy lawsuit currently waged against its competitors in west Texas, but like Apple, its is facing allegations that operations on its app store are decidedly not on the up and up. A class action suit filed in California by residents Dodd J. Harris and Stephen Sabatino accuses Google of “unfair and deceptive business practices”, which include, as the filing states, a failure to maintain “quality control, safety parameters or regulation concerning the sale of Applications”.

In January 2012, Sabatino purchased a BitTorrent client called aBTC. However, after nearly an hour he discovered he couldn’t download torrents using the application. Meanwhile, Harris purchased “Learn Chinese Mandarin Pro” in December, 2011. Within 20 minutes, he discovered the app didn’t function as promised. Unfortunately, Google’s refund policy, perhaps aptly described as “almost impossible” in the complaint, allows users only a 15 minute window from the moment of purchase in order to return the app.

The suit also notes Google’s policy of allowing any app to be sold on Google Play with minimal oversight. That policy was designed to encourage openness, but it predictably led to a high amount of Malware. In response, Google added a security layer called Bouncer, which scans apps for evidence of malicious intent. However, Google does not actually test all apps, a policy the lawsuit contrasts unfavorably to both Apple and Amazon. The suit names all California residents who purchased apps which did not function as advertised from the Google Play store. The full complaint can be viewed here.


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