Google is creating an app that banks can use to remotely lock the debtor’s phone

Google’s Device Lock Controller app was silently developed by the search giant. It allows banks and loan providers to remotely lock your device when you aren’t making payments. The Device Lock Controller app uses Android’s DeviceAdminService API to remotely restrict access to the device in the event of a payment default. It’s already listed on Google Play, but users cannot download it by themselves. The app retains access to basic functions such as emergency calls and access to settings even when the device is restricted.

“Device Lock Controller enables device management for loan providers. Your provider can remotely restrict access to your device if you aren’t making payments. ” read the description of the app.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to XDA developer that the new app was launched in collaboration with a Kenyan network operator Safaricom. At the end of July, the operator started a financial plan called “Lipa Mdogo Mdogo” (piece by piece) to offer Android smartphones (Go Edition) in installments. This plan contained a clause according to which the operator “locks” the device after four days of non-payment.

Google appears to have enabled Safaricom to lock defaulters’ phones using the Device Lock Controller app. However, it is unclear whether the app could be rolled out to other loan providers and other markets in the future.

Google made it clear to XDA developers that the Device Lock Controller app shouldn’t be listed on Google Play for general users. However, the app’s Google Play list was still available at the time this story was submitted. However, you cannot find it in the Play Store available on your smartphone or tablet.

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