Google has released an app into its Playstore named Device Lock Controller, which could potentially lock your device by your financer. The app’s tagged for enabling “device management for credit providers“, which means they could control your handset if you miss a payment for any term. This was intended to work with a Kenyan carrier and has not been used by any other as of now.
Google’s New App May Lock Your Phone
While smartphones in most countries are sold unlocked to let buyer put his desired carrier within, some sellers do in the opposite manner. They give away with flexible finance options, with years of payment plans but with a locked network carrier. While this lets them sell more handsets, they can’t do anything but filing a complaint if the user runs away without paying the balance.
But now, there seems to be an option, made by Google! Named as Device Lock Controller, Google has listed this app in Playstore earlier this year in collaboration with Kenyan carrier Safaricom for Android Go device financing. This lets them lock the buyer’s device if they fail to pay the monthly instalments on time. They’d be given a span of 4 days to pay the bill, if not get their device locked by the carrier.
Google said this is pushed by mistake and would take down soon. But this app is available in the Playstore even now, while it’s not available for download to any device. May this be configured by the carrier while selling the phone, and set to lock the device automatically once the payment is shown due. Though the device is locked, Google notes that emergency calls, incoming and some outgoing calls and basic settings would work.
While there are no other carriers using this service except Kenyan’s Safaricom,
XDA developers say there are plans to expand it. Further, this app roots into DeviceAdminService API when enabled, which is a high privilege to get system-level lockdown functionality. This is used by companies to control remote devices, and cannot be disabled.
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