Google returns malware ad blocker Disconnect Mobile to Play Store

Google and malware ad blocker Disconnect Mobile are back on good terms again – and Disconnect Mobile is back in the Play Store.

The latest news is rather surprising considering that Google rejected the Disconnect Mobile app from the Play Store on August 26. Google’s email to Disconnect Mobile stated that the company’s malware ad blocker app violated section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement because it “interfered” with certain services, Google stated. The Developer Distribution Agreement also said that developers could not violate the rights of third-party developers to access user data that users agreed to when downloading apps.

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At the time, Disconnect Mobile said that there were a number of malware ad blockers in the Play Store, and suspected that Google blocked its app because the company perceived that Disconnect Mobile was set up to block Google’s own ads. Google makes money from mobile ads, so much so that the search engine giant can distribute its open-source Android OS to users and devices for free. Disconnect says that it focused on preparing the app to pass Google inspection the first time, seeing that its app had been rejected in the past – but Google still rejected it the second time around, anyway.

Apparently, Disconnect Mobile’s app did send the wrong impression, and the app needed some tweaking to bypass Google’s red flag. The company had set up the Disconnect Mobile app in such a way that users were forced to select two premium, paid subscriptions: one for ads and one for malware. This time around, Disconnect Mobile decided to integrate ad-blocking and anti-malware into one paid subscription, which seems to have calmed Google’s apprehensions about the app altogether.

Disconnect Mobile said at the time its app was blocked some two weeks ago that Google’s response about the violation (and section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement) was so vague that even some of Google’s own apps could be in violation of the agreement, and it seems as though Google was not specific enough with Disconnect to help the company fix the problem with its app. Disconnect Mobile has now fixed the problem, and it seems as if the company was spot-on.

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With one premium subscription devoted to ad-blocking in general, it is likely the case that Google felt as though the Disconnect Mobile app encroached upon the company’s own mobile ads – which are a source of income for the search engine giant. Perhaps it is the case that, if a company wants to have a malware ad-blocker, it should integrate both features (rather than leave them separate and seem as though it is anti-ad in general) before publishing an app in the Google Play Store. And, in the future, it may behoove Google to be more specific about such violations.