To keep the Play Store, and thus Android devices, malware-free, Google says it disallowed around 1.2 million apps in 2021 because they violated guidelines. The company also blocked 190,000 developer accounts whose owners had developed malicious or spam apps. The cleanup also removed another half million developer accounts that were inactive or abandoned by their owners.
The large number is also because Google has improved its algorithms and verification process, the company said. For security, Google Play offers several privacy protection features, and protections against malicious apps and developers, as well as data security in the Android SDK, have been improved.
focus on safety
google refers in your blog post also in the Google Play Protect mechanism, which examines the applications installed on billions of smartphones every day and protects people against malware and unwanted software.
A year ago, Google announced a new data security section for Google Play, urging developers to provide users with more information about the downloaded app’s privacy intrusion and security practices. This includes information about what data apps collect and why they collect it. This change is already effective, developers have until July 20 of this year to provide the information of their applications.
In return, Google has made it easier for developers to manage their app’s compliance issues from one central location in the Google Play console in the “Policies and Programs” section. Here they can also challenge decisions and track the status.
In addition, Google has worked with SDK vendors to increase app security and limit how user data can be shared. Also, communication channels between SDK vendors and application developers have been improved at the same time. Google wants to stay active in this area in the future, but the improved security of the SDKs is already having an impact on billions of users.
Restricted data access
The best way to protect user data is to limit access to it in the first place. This assessment comes from Google itself, and the blog post’s authors cite additional numbers: 98 percent of apps migrated to Android 11 or later have reduced their access to sensitive APIs and user data. Additionally, the company has significantly reduced unnecessary, dangerous, or prohibited use of accessibility APIs for apps that have migrated to Android 12. The feature was kept for legitimate purposes.
To make Android more appealing to families, Google also banned the collection of advertising IDs (AAIDs) and other device IDs for apps aimed exclusively at children last year. At the same time, the possibility was created for all users to completely delete their advertising ID regardless of an application.
Additional improvements in these areas are also expected for the current year. The authors of the blog post are also looking forward to it.
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