Report: Android will also come with a kill switch

Google's Android Marketplace carries a warning that Google has the power to remotely remove applications that violate the developer distribution agreement, putting the G1 on par with the iPhone at least in the kill switch department.

In August, attention was brought to a blacklist for unauthorized applications located in the iPhone's CoreLocation API -- a blacklist that is tied to a remote "kill switch" for malicious programs. The existence of such a kill switch was later confirmed by Steve Jobs himself to The Wall Street Journal.

The same thing has just happened with Google's Android Marketplace. But the difference this time is that the possible kill switch didn't have to be unearthed by an engineer, but rather was found by IDG News reporter Nancy Gohring, looking through the Android Market Terms of Service. These terms will be offered in more or less plain view to all users in the "About Device" tab when the first Android Phone goes on sale next Wednesday.

From the terms of service: "Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement ... in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion."

This refers only to software obtained through the Android Market, and not through any other means, such as mobile app store Handango, which will also be selling Android apps.

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