Most will remember a day not long ago when Apple fanboy’s rose up in viral protest about Apple’s disclosure of having a kill switch embedded in the iPhone to remotely disable malicious applications. Well while Apple hides behind its 10 foot wall of privacy, Google has decided on a much more forthright approach. “Hidden” yet perfectly viewable in the About Phone section of the Android software is a non to discreet statement that gives Google the right to remove applications that may be malicious in nature.
“Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement … in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion,'”
At first glance the immediate reaction is why does Google want to kill my phone? Privacy advocates are probably foaming at the mouth over this news but the reality is quite different. With the G1 being open source we will not only see the ingenunity of the open market but also the possibility of malicious designs. Props to Google for being straightforward and acting like a responsible parent who will take appropriate action when necessary.
The lack of oversight regarding approval for the Android market of course means these applications can make their way onto your phone before being discovered as trouble and that begs the question, then what? Google can remotely kill the application, but what about any lasting damage to the phone, if any? Google says it will do everything in its power to ensure a refund is awarded from a developer should the application be removed.
On the lighter side of Android market news today, Google also includes a notation about being able to try and refund an application within 24 hours. That is great news for applications that may come sans a trial version. I know with regards to applications from the iPhone App store I would have refunded nearly 90% of what I downloaded within 24 hours!
With the idea that the market will be free from oversight I would have to say that the killswitch isn’t all that troublesome. If I were Google developers I too would want a way to remotely disable an application that may be used to take control of G1’s across the world beginning the quick path to world domination by Robots.
Via Computer World