This is a featured post by Jonathan Klinger, recently appointed Widdit’s compliance officer and an Israeli Cyberlaw attorney.
Jonathan is a bachelor of Law, Government, Diplomacy and Strategy and a Master of Law, and was selected as one of the leading practitioners in the field of Privacy and E-Commerce by Who’s Who Legal 500.
As Widdit’s Compliance Officer, I followed Widdit’s development of the HomeBase SDK and other applications, and am involved in the ongoing development. According to Widdit’s strategic plan, the HomeBase SDK was designed in such manner that it was consistent with Google Play’s Developer Program Policies and Distribution Agreement before the recent changes, and is also consistent and adherent to the recent changes without any changes to the SDK.
The reasons for such adherence is that the HomeBase SDK is not just another adware application or just ads advertisements to the applications which distribute it, but that the HomeBase SDK provides additional functionality which is desired by many end-users and has gained popularity.
Google’s recent changes were mostly, in the following additional restrictions:
1. Ads cannot be displayed outside the application or hinder other applications;
2. Applications cannot add homescreen shortcuts;
3. Applications cannot change default user settings without explicit consent.
The general rule of “don’t do anything that the user did not ask for” remains consistent throughout Widdit’s operation: The HomeBase SDK prompts the end-user, during its first run, to confirm that it wants to change his default lockscreen and provides him with additional rich functionality. There are no hidden changes, and there are no hidden features: everything is prominent.
Moreover, HomeBase’s business model is not based on changing default search applications or just placing icons on users’ homescreens: that’s bad practice and was proven, in the long run, to be a non-viable business model.
Lastly, Widdit does not inject advertisements or interferes with other applications. We create different a new way to interact with users, and users seem to like it.
During the last month, I conducted an exhaustive review of the HomeBase SDK, and held numerous meetings with Widdit’s dev team and staff, all to make this product better for your privacy, and to ensure that it serves the best interests of the users who installed it, and allows new monetization channels.
Widdit was found fully compliant to Google’s terms, and as we can see, even after the update, no change is required to comply with the new restrictions.