Mitron app no longer available on Google Play Store; here’s why

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Updated: Jun 02, 2020 6:40 PM

Google has suspended Mitron app for allegedly violating its spam and minimum functionality policy.

mitronUntil recently, the makers of the app did not even have a proper privacy policy in place.

Controversy-ridden Mitron, the so-called “desi” TikTok alternative, has been pulled down from the Google Play Store. Google has suspended Mitron app for allegedly violating its spam and minimum functionality policy. “We don’t allow apps that merely provide the same experience as other apps already on Google Play. Apps should provide value to users through the creation of unique content or services,” the policy reads.

Even though Google reserves the right to take down any app that copies content from other apps without any changes, recent history has shown, the global search engine giant doesn’t usually take this step on its own. Mitron app is a classic example. Multiple investigative reports, some of which have also painstakingly dissected the source code of Mitron app, have called out how it’s a complete rip-off of TicTic, another Android app made by a Pakistan-based developer.

If that wasn’t enough, the makers of TicTic have also reached out to the media, and there has been significant coverage on this in the last few days, clearly stating how Mitron wasn’t really a “desi” app to begin with. Pakistan-based software developing company, Qboxus, has claimed it sold the Mitron app’s complete source code to its maker for $34 or roughly around Rs 2,500. While it’s perfectly fine for the makers of Mitron app to use that source code to build and sell something as their own product, Qboxus has raised issues since the so-called “desi” app brings no extra value on top of what a certain TicTic already does.

That last bit, and the fact that Mitron is literally the same as TicTic down to its source code, is reason enough why it should never have made its way through Google’s supposedly stern security checks, much less become a viral sensation that it became, so very quickly, due to the ongoing wave of strong anti-China sentiment that’s blowing across the county. Plus, until recently, the makers of the app did not even have a proper privacy policy in place.

Apple demands every app developer to have a privacy policy, that’s transparent about how they store and use data. Google clearly needs such security guards too, and again Mitron app is a classic example to prove that point. Researchers have already found a vulnerability in Mitron app that allowed anyone with the technical know-how to gain unrestricted access to over 50 Lakh accounts, before it was pulled down from the Play Store. Google needs to pull a page out of Apple’s privacy book or else apps like Mitron will continue to thrive and make mockery of the Play Store.

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