In order to prevent malware operations and fraud rings from infecting Android users’ devices with fraudulent apps, Google claims that it banned 173,000 developer accounts in 2022. In its “bad apps” annual report, the firm acknowledged that it also stopped about 1.5 million apps associated with different policy infractions from being released on the Google Play Store. Additionally, the Google Play Commerce security team stopped abusive and fraudulent transactions that could have cost the company more than $2 billion.
“In 2022, we prevented 1.43 million policy-violating apps from being published on Google Play in part due to new and improved security features and policy enhancements — in combination with our continuous investments in machine learning systems and app review processes,” the Google Security team said. “We also continued to combat malicious developers and fraud rings, banning 173K bad accounts, and preventing over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions.”
Google has added different criteria, such as identification verification by phone and email, for developers wishing to join the Play Store ecosystem. As a result, fewer accounts were being employed to distribute programs that broke Google Play’s rules. More than 1 million applications on the official Android market now have a more substantial “privacy posture” due to its collaboration with software development kit (SDK) suppliers to limit access to sensitive data and restrict its sharing.
The firm claims over the last three years, its efforts to strengthen Android platform security and standards have prevented almost 500,000 apps from requesting and obtaining sensitive rights. These apps were submitted for inclusion in the Google Play Store. Google deleted nearly 500,000 dormant or abandoned developer accounts in 2021, restricted 1.2 million policy-violating applications, and banned 190,000 accounts connected to spammy and harmful developers.
According to Google, as the Android ecosystem grows, they must collaborate closely with the developer community to make sure they have the resources, training, and assistance required to create reliable apps that respect user privacy and data security. They will continue to work closely with SDK providers to increase the security of apps and SDKs, restrict the sharing of user data, and enhance communication with app developers.
The Data safety section of Google Play, which describes how applications gather, exchange, and safeguard user data, was updated a year ago. More recently, in February 2023, Google said that Android 14 (now in beta), the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, will prevent malware from misusing necessary permissions by focusing on earlier API levels (Android versions).