Secret SMS Replicator, a spying application that forwards contents of a user’s text messages to the phone of the person who installed it in the first place, has been booted out of the Android Market.
Once the application in question is installed, there is no visible shortcut or icon to alert the user about the spying that is in progress, so one can see why this would be a problem for Google. According to ReadWriteWeb, the application was banned because it violates the Market’s content policy, which says that applications that are guilty of invasion of personal privacy are not allowed to be uploaded.
Zak Tanjeloff, CEO of DLP Mobile (the company that developed the application) said that they developed it for Android because such an app would never be approved by Apple for use on the iPhone and allowed to be sold on its iTunes App Store.
But, as it turns out, the Android Market has similar rules – the only difference is that Apple’s approval process will flush such an application out before it is allowed in, and the Android Market allows them in and removes them once they are published. Unfortunately, that gives potentially malicious applications a small window of opportunity to do their bad work.