The Tamil Nadu Cybercrime Police followed up the matter with Google LLC and obtained the email ID that was used to create the mobile app and suspended the app in November last year. File | Photo credit: Reuters
The Tamil Nadu Cybercrime Police has informed the Madras High Court that Google LLC has refused to share key details that could help trace the creators of the ‘Wonder Loan’ mobile app that Google Play has created. was made available at the store and used to extort money from it. By threatening users to share their private moments on social media.
In a status report filed before Justice CV Karthikeyan, the police said that on November 21, 2022, a request was sent to Google seeking details such as the email ID username used to host the mobile app on the Play Store. was used for , his mobile phone number, alternate email ID as well as the user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address.
However, on January 26, 2023, Google LLC responded via email, “We are unable to provide you with information regarding your jurisdiction’s requirements. You are responsible for determining the appropriate procedures to obtain the data.” “The Irish may consult the Department of Justice,” the police told the court.
The submission was made during the hearing of a writ petition filed by Dindigul district-based Thainadu Finance Private Limited. The petitioner, a non-banking finance corporation (NBFC), primarily involved in mortgage and vehicle loans, had complained that unknown persons had used its addresses and other information to create a ‘Wonder Loan’ mobile app. Details are misused.
The petitioner’s counsel Kanimozhi Mithi told the court that the NBFC registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) does not offer digital loans at all. He learned about the misuse of his credentials only after receiving mails from various people across the country accusing him of charging exorbitant interest for loans offered through the mobile app.
Immediately, the company filed a complaint with the RBI as well as the Cybercrime Police. RBI counsel Shivanan Mohan informed the court that complaints received by him from the petitioner company as well as individual users of the mobile app have been forwarded to the cybercrime police by the central bank’s regional office.
On their part, the Cybercrime Police told the court that it had sent a request to Google LLC on August 4, 2022 to remove the ‘Wonder Loan’ app from the Play Store. The mail was acknowledged the same day, but on 20 August 2022, Google responded that “the reported content was not found to violate Google Play policies at this time”.
Subsequently, it was learned that the Andhra Pradesh Police had also registered a case of abetment of suicide against the ‘Wonder Loan’ app on October 13. Hence the Tamil Nadu Cybercrime Police followed up the matter with Google LLC and obtained the email ID. It was used to create a mobile app and the app was also suspended in November last year.
As further requests to share details such as IP addresses were not responded positively by Google, the police sought some more time to pursue the matter and asked the court to provide speedy protection to the culprits. Assured. After taking a status report on the file, the judge granted another six weeks to complete the investigation.