App store CEOs from both Google and Apple are preparing to answer US government requests for information on how they safeguard and monitor mobile applications housed in their stores for cryptocurrency-related crimes.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who serves as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, on Thursday addressed two letters that were nearly identical to each other to the CEOs of Google and Apple, respectively.
It’s up to firms like Apple, Google, and others that have been chairing the committee since February to explain their app review processes and how they deal with apps that don’t follow the rules of the store they’re selling in.
A request for information from the California-based internet companies comes as the senator has stepped up his attempts to determine the breadth of crypto-related scams. Thursday also saw a hearing on “Protecting Investors and Savers: Identifying and Defending Against Cryptocurrency Fraud,” led by Brown.
In it, the committee heard about how con artists utilize marketing as a tool to promote schemes, particularly through the use of apps that are hosted on Google’s and Apple’s stores.
During the course of the hearing, Melanie Senter Lubin, President of the North American Securities Administrators Association, and Gerri Walsh, Senior Vice President of Investor Education at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, both provided their perspectives.
In his letters, the senator is also seeking information on the systems and processes the companies have in place for people to report fraudulent apps, as well as actions taken to alert users to fraudulent crypto app activity.
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 fraudulent mobile application activity, the senator wrote in both letters.
Apple and Google are being urged to respond to the senator’s request for information by no later than August 10, 2022.