I read this article, it made me wonder if /e/ will provide a means to avoid/block this.
The fabulous world of Black Mirror is getting closer and closer
Reading XDA developers source link, here is the clarification updated on November 6th this year
Update 1: Clarity from Google
A spokesperson from Google reached out to clarify some details about the Device Lock Controller app. To start with, Google says they launched this app in collaboration with a Kenyan carrier called Safaricom. In a blog post dated July 28, 2020, and titled “Growing access and inclusion with more affordable smartphones“, Google talked about the launch of Safaricom’s new “Lipa Mdogo Mdogo” (“Pay Bit by Bit”) financing plan that allows Kenyans to purchase a new Android Go Edition smartphone in affordable installments. On Safaricom’s FAQ page about this financing plan, the carrier says that they will “lock the device” following 4 days of nonpayment.
But what about the app’s quiet appearance on the Google Play Store? Apparently, that was just a mistake. Google has confirmed that the Device Lock Controller app should not be listed on the Google Play Store for users in the U.S., and they will work to take down the listing. We have reached out to Google to clarify if the company has plans to partner with more carriers or financial institutions in the future and will update this article if we hear back.