Feeds

Google rejects spy-happy Android app

Eventually

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google has decided that eavesdropping is a step too far for even Android's laissez-faire attitude to application vetting, and rejected such an app despite waving it through first time.

Secret SMS Replicator was initially approved by Google and listed in the Android Marketplace, but Switched explains that 18 hours later the application was pulled and is now only available in its less-secret incarnation as a back-up tool, showing that even Google feels unwarranted interception of communications is a little bit too evil.

SMS Replicator sends a copy of every SMS received to a selected number, and the Secret version provides no indication on the user's phone that such a copy has been made - making it ideal for those wishing to spy on partners or children without all that mucking about with hats and false moustaches.

Such applications already exist on mobiles, with some capable of recording phone calls as well as messages; but this is notable thanks to Google's approval, and subsequent removal from the Android Marketplace.

Symbian Signed has approved such applications in the past, making it clear that it doesn't consider moral judgements to be part of its remit. One can be pretty certain that Apple would allow no such thing even if the lack of multitasking on iOS would make it technically difficult anyway.

Google has always applied the lightest of touches to the Android Marketplace, but by rejecting Secret SMS Replicator the company has shown that there is a line it won't cross.

Not that this means the application will go away: Android apps don't have to be approved, and with the paranoid doing the installation on their partner's temporarily-purloined handset, no on-screen warnings about unsigned applications are going to discourage installation. The developer, DLP Mobile, doesn't have Secret SMS Replicator listed for direct sale yet, but we can't imagine there's anything more than the necessary billing system that's holding them back.

So the message is clear - if you want to keep your affair secret than you need to have an iPhone, or something equally well locked down. Android users will just have to stay faithful, or take their chances. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.