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Delhi high court ask Google to consider softer warnings when users download WinZO

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Sayan Sen ( )

A Delhi High Court division bench has asked Google to consider using softer warning to users when downloading gaming firm WinZO’s app.

“Are you sure it is a case of malware? You can say it is unverified. Harm may be a harsh word,” the Bench, comprising of Justices Manmohan and Saurabh Banerjee asked, questioning the aptness of the warning displayed by Google when users download WinZO’s app.

“Can you say it is harmful? You can say it is unverified and download it at your own risk,” it suggested, according to a report by The Economic Times.

Displaying similar warnings when downloading third-party android apps, not on Google’s Play Store is a standard industry wide practice and not limited to browsers according to Google. “WinZO cannot dictate what policies Google can run… display warnings is not specific to India, but is followed across the globe,” it said.

Objecting to Google’s stance, WinZO said Google had no verification as to whether its app contained malware and argued that 42% users avoided downloading it because of the warning. “If Google says it is not available in Play Store, then it is okay to put out a disclaimer. But to say that it will harm your device, the application has a negative connotation that this is malware.” it added.

The online gaming startup filed a suit claiming that the warning displayed by Android disparages WinZO’s reputation. The bench has asked Google to inform by April 26 whether it willing to make the suggested changes in an order dated March 25.

In January, a Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) order forced Google to allow smartphone makers to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices; and exempted developers from being forced to use Google Play’s billing system to list their apps on its Play Store. In addition to fining them Rs 1,337.76 crore for abusing its dominance in the Android market.

“Implementation of these changes across the ecosystem will be a complex process and will require significant work at our end and, in many cases, significant efforts from partners, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers,” Google said in a blog post. “However, we are making some changes as required by the CCI’s directives.”





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