After Google Play warning against Slice app, company reacts

Slice has issued a statement clarifying recent Google Play Protect warning that the apps puts your device at risk. “Google Play has not officially termed slice as a harmful app via an official statement to the public,” the app said.

Recently Google had warned against fintech company Slice app saying that it is trying to spy on users ‘personal data and had recommended users’ to delete app from their phones. Later Slice released a clarification on the same. “Google Play has not officially termed slice as a harmful app via an official statement to the public,” the app said. “On June 23, Slice’s Android users who had updated their app to the 10.0.7.1 version were alerted by Google Play Protect that the app was harmful and made attempt to access its users’ personal data,” Slice said in the clarification statement.

“First of all, this version of the app was meant to sync phone and SMS permissions for waitlisted users to verify and match the SIM as per UPI guidelines. Upon receiving this alert, the slice team worked closely with the Google Play Store team to identify the issue, “Slice app added.

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As per the instructions given by Google Play Store team, the issue incurred due to the following reason – “The prominent disclosures for Location, Contact, SMS need to be expanded to disclose the type of data, features and scenarios referenced and relevant to the slice app ”. While updating the UPI phone and SMS permissions for waitlisted users, the Slice’s team missed updating the UPI use case on the permission screen.

The app further informed that the permission screen is in the app from the beginning, and user consent is taken to proceed. The lack of specifications regarding the prominent disclosures led to the momentary alert from Google Play Protect. However, there is no material change in the app.

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“The issue was identified and resolved within 4 hours of being notified of this alert and all users were instructed to update / reinstall the app with the titled version, 10.0.7.3 immediately. Later after this, Google Play Store has removed the alert after reviewing. the updated information on the permission screen. Even for users who are with the version titled, 10.0.7.1, the harmful alert won’t come up by re-scan the app, “Slice said.

“Here is the link to the first statement that went out on 24th June and subsequently on 25th June, relaying the details of why this alert was issued by Google Play. Slice, as always, reiterates its true commitment towards protecting the privacy of the users ‘data. slice does not access or violate the privacy of the personal data of its users which include call logs, audio recordings and photos. slice seeks limited permissions that users consent to, for availing a slice card and the efficient usage of its services which recently included UPI, “the app added.

Slice said, “Further, this is to reiterate that Google Play has not officially termed slice as a harmful app via an official statement to the public.”

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