Google has said that it is updating its Personal Loans policy, in which it will restrict personal loan applications from accessing user contacts or photos.

“We’re updating our Personal Loans policy to state that apps aiming to provide or facilitate personal loans may not access user contacts or photos,” Google said.

“Apps that provide personal loans, or have the primary purpose of facilitating access to personal loans (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts,” it added.

The tech giant implemented new restrictions in its Personal Loans policy on Wednesday for apps on Play Store to prevent access to external storage, photos, videos, contacts, precise location, and call logs.

The change will come into effect from May 31, the company said.

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Google also outlined additional requirements for personal loan apps in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, and Pakistan.

In India, companies will now need to complete the Personal Loan App Declaration and provide the necessary documentation to support their declaration, for example, if they are licensed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide personal loans, then they must submit a copy of their license for review.

In March, Google removed hundreds of loan apps from its Play Store in Kenya since the implementation of its new policy requiring digital lenders in the East African country to present proof of license, which went into effect in January.

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Back in 2021, Google reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India and pulled down several of them found to be violating its app policies.

The company said it has asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations in India.