Android 4.0 ICS:
Google has removed all ad blocking apps from the Google Play Store for Android effectively removing the ability to block ads on the mobile operating system.
Most notable of the apps to be removed is the AdBlock Plus app which has been downloaded over 200 million times. Effectively filtering all of your internet traffic it made sure that not only did you not see ads on YouTube and Facebook but it also removed social network buttons from websites which would then potentially collect your personal data.
Co-founder of AdBlock Plus Till Faida argues that while advertising is necessary, the complete removal of choice directly contradicts what Google's Android operating system is all about.
“By unilaterally removing these apps, Google is stepping all over the checks and balances that make the Internet democratic. People should be really alarmed by this move.”
“I realise that advertising revenue is important to Google, but understand that Adblock Plus does not automatically block all ads; we simply allow users the choice whether to block ads or whitelist them. We even encourage advertising that is done appropriately and conforms to an Acceptable Ads policy."
Faida went on to reveal that actually this decision is just the final blow in what has been a slow removal of AdBlock from Google Play and Google Chrome after the search giant started forcing users to manually configure AdBlock.
Then in December last year Google allowed AdBlock to remain on Google Chrome but recatagorised it so users simply couldn't search for it, the app was eventually taken down later that month.
T3 contacted Google for comment who replied saying, “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies”. This is referring to the ad section of their policy which states that "Ads associated with your app must not interfere with any ads on a third-party application."
AdBlock has confirmed that Android users can still download their app for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.