A privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet, Samourai, has said that they have been forced to remove a wide array of important security-related features from a version of their application due to Google’s “extremely restrictive policies”.
What did the Bitcoin Wallet Samourai say?
In a blog post, Samourai team has said that they have removed 3 key privacy features (remote SMS commands, SIM switch defense, and stealth mode) from the latest version 0.99.04 of their app. They explained that they removed these features to comply with Google’s new guidelines, pushing to “become more of a ‘walled garden’ experience.”
The company has also said that they have made available a version of their app that contains all the security features. However, this version is not available through Google’s app service, Google Play. When contacted for a comment, Google didn’t reportedly respond.
What is “Walled Garden” Concept of Google?
Google’s “Walled Garden” concept is very similar to the closed ecosystem or closed platform. It refers to a software system involving the service provider, who takes full control over all operations in the system (includes media, content, and application).
Reports say the “walled garden” approach is not something new that has been discovered by Google suddenly. In fact, big technology companies (such as Amazon and Facebook) have been proliferating this for many years now.
What did Samourai’s Co-founder say?
Samourai’s co-founder (who calls himself with the pseudonym “SW”) reportedly said that they used the term “walled garden” to refer to a series of policy changes of Google that took place last year. These policies were implemented for all the application developers of Google’s Play Store. He said:
“Users of Samourai might have noticed that they are no longer getting notifications on when they receive bitcoin. That’s because if you want to use notification services you have to route everything through Google services.”
He went on to stress on the fact that accumulation of these few things has pushed Samourai developers in opting out of more features when releasing newer versions of the wallet to the app.
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