Google has decided to crack down on Android VPN apps that block adverts

has announced it will begin preventing apps from the Play Store from disrupting or removing advertisements.

Following the announcement of the Developer Program Policy in July 2022, only VPN apps using VPNService, whose primary job is to provide a virtual private network, will be permitted authorization to establish a secure tunnel at the device level to a remote server as of November 1.

According to Google, permissible VPN apps shouldn't collect private or sensitive information without clearly disclosing it and, more crucially, getting the user's opt-in approval. In addition, they must avoid any actions, such as traffic rerouting or ad manipulation, that could negatively affect the revenue of competing services.

It was announced earlier this year that Google will be making some adjustments to its Play Store, one of which would be to place stricter regulations on virtual private network (VPN) programs that may be downloaded on Android handsets.

The Swedish ad-blocking VPN app Blokada is apparently concerned that the law “would hamper at least the prior generation of its software,” as reported by The Register(opens in new tab). The author and administrator of the blog, Reda Labdaoui, states(opens in new tab) that v5 has been the subject of “several takedowns in the past.”

It was suggested in the same Blokada blog article that because of cloud filtering, v6 should not experience the same problems. This does not violate any Google policies, and according to Blokada, it should have fewer effects on battery life, device speed, and network speed than local VPN filtering.

We don't expect we'll be harmed by the policy, but our team is continuing to review it,” a DuckDuckGo representative wrote in an email to The Register.

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