A judge in Brazil has had it with the anonymous bullying carried out on social networking apps like Secret and has stepped in to put a stop to it, according to a report from Estadao [translation]. Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho has ruled that Google must delete the application from its Play Store, but the ruling doesn’t stop there.
According to the report, the judge has demanded that Google remotely delete the application from every device that has installed it in the country. While that might sound like a hilarious case of a judge not understanding how technology works, you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually a capability that Google has, sort of.
Google’s Android operating system supports a security measure that allows the company to remotely remove applications from users’ devices without asking for permission. The capability has been used to remove a few potentially malicious applications in the past, but nothing of this scale based on a legal ruling has ever taken place.
Whether the company will actually comply with the judge’s demand has yet to be determined. If the application has not been deleted within ten days, Google will be fined £30,000 each day.