google play store and apple app store

US senator wants Google, Apple to provide digital asset scams data

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Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, is pressing the two leading mobile phone application store operators— Apple and Google—for details of how they protect users from fraudulent digital assets apps. 

press release from the senator’s office reveals that he has written letters to Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook, the CEOs of Google and Apple, requesting that the companies respond to questions relating to fraud prevention on their app stores. 

Some of these questions include describing the steps taken before approving digital assets apps and actions taken in ensuring that the apps observe the store’s policies; measures put in place for users to report fraudulent apps; how users are notified about fraudulent apps; and if they have shared data on fraudulent app activities with other stores. 

The companies have until August 10 to respond. In both letters, Brown explains that the request is prompted by the recent FBI public warning that disclosed that fraudulent digital assets investment apps have cost investors over $42 million in one year ending in June. 

“While firms that offer crypto investment and other related services should take the necessary steps to prevent fraudulent activity, including warning investors about the uptick in scams, it is likewise imperative that app stores have the proper safeguards in place to prevent against fraudulent mobile application activity,” he added. 

Digital assets scams continue to rise

According to the FBI warning Brown references, over 200 victims were recorded to have lost funds by interacting with fake apps spoofing legitimate financial institutions’ identities or digital assets firms to investment services.

Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recorded over 46,000 cases of digital assets scams that cost U.S. investors more than $1 billion in 2021, according to a report by CNBC

Meanwhile, this is not the first time the two tech giants have attracted attention from the United States Senate due to digital assets-related matters. In May, lawmakers proposed a bill to bar companies from hosting apps that support digital yuan payments within the U.S. 

The proponents of the bill held that the digital yuan posed a threat as it could allow the Chinese government to spy on Americans. 

Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, Law & Order: Regulatory Compliance for Blockchain & Digital Assets

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