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Opera reportedly has multiple predatory loan apps in the Play Store with interest rates of up to 876%

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It's no secret that Opera isn't doing so well in the era of Chrome dominance. According to a report published by Hindenburg Research, the company's losses in browser revenue have apparently led it to create multiple loan apps with short payment windows and interest rates of ~365-876%, which are in violation of new Play Store rules Google enacted last year.

 

You may recall that Opera became a public company in mid-2017, shortly after it was purchased by a China-based investor group. Since then, Opera's market share has continued to fall, due to the increasing dominance of Chrome. As a result, Opera decided to pivot to predatory short-term lending in Africa and Asia across four apps: OKash and OPesa in Kenya, CashBean in India, and OPay in Nigeria.

 

The apps have apparently remained available in the Play Store (except OPesa, which seems to be gone) by advertising different loan rates in the app description than users actually receive. For example, the listing for OKash stated its loans range from 91-365 days (the page now says 61-365 days), but an email response from the company stated it only offered loans from 15-29 days — significantly lower than the 60-day minimum enforced by Google. All of Opera's other apps were also found to be in violation to varying extents.

 

https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/01/19/opera-predatory-loans/

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V.T. Eric Layton

Color me not surprised.

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securitybreach

Yup, that's why I knew that using their "free" VPN was bad news.

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V.T. Eric Layton

I gave up on Opera when they started using Chrome as their base. At the time (in Slack 14.1), I could not install/run any version of chrome or chromium (segmentation faults, gcc compiling errors). However, a few weeks back when I finally upgraded to 14.2, I was able to install Chromium (via Alien Bob's repos). It worked.

 

After playing around with it for a bit, I realized that I wasn't going to get it to do all the things that my FF does already. It also wasn't any faster than FF, nor did it utilize RAM any more efficiently than FF. So, I expunged it from my system. But these aren't the only reason I didn't want to use it. I just do NOT like the fact that Google has way too many tentacles intertwined in that project. I can't trust a piece of software like that.

 

But anyway...

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securitybreach

Well I use Firefox but Chromium is opensource and doesn't have the Google stuff in it:

 

Quote

 

How is Chromium different from Chrome?

Chromium is a subset of Chrome, since Google bolts on other components and features to the former to craft the latter. Everything in Chromium is in Chrome, but not everything in Chrome is in Chromium.

 

The obvious differences lie in accompanying services Google provides - like the update mechanism - or built-in support for such technologies as Adobe's Flash Player and digital rights management (DRM) components that let Chrome play copyrighted content..........

 

 

From 2019: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3261009/googles-chromium-browser-explained.html

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V.T. Eric Layton
6 minutes ago, securitybreach said:

doesn't have the Google stuff in it

 

Yes, but if you want anything to enhance it, you have to go to the Google Chrome store to get the extensions/themes, etc.

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securitybreach

True but they do not add their code along with the extensions. Nobody would trust extensions if they did.

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V.T. Eric Layton

I guess. Evidently, Opera has its own "store" for their browser?

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securitybreach
10 minutes ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

I guess. Evidently, Opera has its own "store" for their browser?

 

I didn't know that but I wouldn't doubt it.

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V.T. Eric Layton

No. I misread the article you originally posted here. I thought it was talking about apps at Opera's store, but it's talking about apps in the Google Play store.

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securitybreach

No, it's taking about malicious predatory apps on the Play store that Opera developed.

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