Google has revealed that it banned 1.2 million ‘policy-breaking’ apps from being released on its play store, in its effort to combat fraudulent and spammy apps and developers. Over 190,000 developer accounts were banned in 2021. Additionally, the search giant removed approximately 500,000 inactive or abandoned developer accounts.
Like every year, Google this year in its latest blog post explains how it “fought bad developers and apps”. The 2021 edition comes a day after the company’s Data safety section has started to roll out. Google’s Data safety section is similar to Apple’s privacy ‘nutrition labels’. It makes it mandatory for developers to provide customers with information about their apps’ privacy and security rights from their app listings on Google Play.
“Google Play Protect continues to scan billions of installed apps each day across billions of devices to keep people safe from malware and unwanted software,” the company said in its latest blog post.
It said that the best way to ensure that user data stays safe is to limit its access in the first place. The company restricted the use of high-risk or sensitive permissions in apps migrating to Android 12. “98 per cent of apps migrating to Android 11 or higher have reduced their access to sensitive APIs and user data while preserving the functionality of legitimate use cases,” Google noted.
The company says that to make Google safe for families, it discontinued the collection of Advertising ID and other device identifiers from all users in apps solely targeting children, and gave all users the ability to delete their Advertising ID entirely, regardless of the app. An advertising ID is a unique user ID assigned by Google to its users. Using this ID, users can track, how their data is being monetised.
Further, for Google Pixel users, the company has announced a new Security hub feature, which provides an extra layer of protection to apps and Google accounts on the device. “Pixels now use new machine learning models that improve the detection of malware in Google Play Protect. The detection runs on your Pixel, and uses a privacy-preserving technology called federated analytics to discover bad apps,” the company added.
Meanwhile, Google said that developers are required to submit the essential information in the Data safety section for their apps by July 20.
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