google: Explained: How Google removes bad apps and ‘fake’ developers from Play Store

Malicious or dangerous apps is a rather big problem for Google on its Play Store. Every now and then there are reports emerging on how fake, scammy apps are out there and end up bringing bad news for Android users. Google, on its part, has been making a significant effort to cut the number of malicious apps from the Play Store. In fact, in a blog post, Google explained how it blocked 1.2 million policy violating apps from being published on Google Play, preventing billions of harmful installations. It further banned 190k bad accounts in 2021 and closed around 500k developer accounts that are inactive or abandoned. Google explained how it went about doing this:

Working with SDK developers

SDK, or Software Development Kit, are meant to provide functionality for app developers. However, as Google explains, it can sometimes be tricky to know when an SDK is safe to use. What Google did is that it engaged with SDK developers to build “a safer Android and Google Play ecosystem”. Google says that SDK developers have improved the safety of SDKs used by hundreds of thousands of apps impacting billions of users. “This remains a huge investment area for our team, and we will continue in our efforts to make SDKs safer across the ecosystem,” said Google in a blog post.

Limiting access to user data

Google says that it has ensured new platform protections and policies. It has further collaborated with developers to create awareness. 98% of apps migrating to Android 11 or higher have reduced their access to sensitive APIs and user data. What this does is that no app developer gets too much user data. Further, Google reduced the unnecessary, dangerous, or disallowed use of accessibility APIs in apps migrating to Android 12, while preserving the functionality of legitimate use cases. Then there’s Google Play Protect which scans billions of installed apps each day across billions of devices to keep people safe from malware and unwanted software.

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