Google will block Android apps that record phone calls

Google will tighten its privacy policies and block third-party recording apps within the Play Store.


Google will apply new privacy policies this May 11 and will aim to block applications within the Play Store that are capable of recording phone calls , a function that has been used by developers and that goes against these new statutes of the Mountain View company on security issues.

According to reports from Ars Technica , Google is regulating accessibility APIs and, with this, prevent developers from using tools in this section to add them to solutions that have nothing to do with accessibility. The new API version at this point prohibits call recording, which nullifies any supported development.

Until now, this accessibility API was the only resource developers had to record calls on Android. However, Google confirmed that these tools were designed to help people with disabilities use their devices, not to allow call recording.

Moun Choi, head of content operations at Google, told 9to5Google that these new terms apply to third parties that add these APIs in apps that allow a remote mode of recording: “Remote, in this context, refers to the recording of audio of calls where the person on the other end is not aware that the recording is taking place”.

Decision does not affect Xiaomi, Samsung and others

Despite the strictness of the measure, Google partners seem not to be affected, since the measure only reaches third parties and not companies that, by default and natively, add this solution to their devices.

In this case, solutions such as those from Samsung, Xiaomi, Google Pixel and others that come pre-installed as part of the dialer app will not be affected.

“If the app is the default dialer on the phone and is also preloaded, the accessibility capability is not required to access the incoming audio stream. Therefore, it would not be in violation. Since this is a clarification of an existing policy, the new language will apply to all apps starting May 11,” adds Choi.