Our active Deceptor list works; apps and services that get listed either clean up or stop distributing. That's great for consumers, but we've seen that this process can be painful for vendors.
Back in the fall of 2017 we got a few requests for a way to provide vendors with Deceptor notifications. The idea was that there were many vendors who didn't want to be our customers, but who were happy to register with us so we could notify them first if we found their apps or services were deceptive.
We thought this was a great idea. Our goal was to find the fastest path to keep consumers safe from deceptive behaviors, and if there were vendors who said an early "heads-up" would speed up their fixing the violations, we'd be happy to give it to them. So last October we announced our free Deceptor notification program.
Unfortunately, over past year we found that when we notified vendors about their apps' and services' Deceptor-level violations, only vendors who were our certification customers worked quickly to get the issues resolved. Other vendors, if they fixed at all, did so at a significantly slower pace. We don't know why this happened, but we do know this outcome isn't good for consumers.
And because we've determined that it's not in the best interests of consumers, we're deprecating our Deceptor notification program as of December 31. We'll continue to work with our certification customers to clean up their apps and services, but starting in January next year, we will only pre-notify other vendors when we're pretty sure that by doing so it will protect consumers faster.
Please note that this doesn't change how we work with apps and services that are listed as active Deceptors; we'll continue to help vendors at no charge to get their apps and services off the active Deceptor list.
You can find more information about our notification policies, as well as how to clean up active Deceptors, on our Deceptor FAQ.