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Google Blocked 1.4 Million Bad Apps From Google Play in 2022

Google says it prevented 1.4 million bad applications from being published on Google Play in 2022 and banned 173k developer accounts.

Google says its tightened security features helped it block over 1.4 million bad applications from being published to the Google Play store in 2022.

Enhanced policies combined with machine learning and an improved app review process, the internet giant says, helped it automatically block bad applications that violated the app store’s policies.

Over the past three years, tighter Android protections and policies, along with developer education, resulted in over 500,000 applications being prevented from accessing unnecessary sensitive permissions, Google says.

Roughly 173,000 developer accounts were banned from Google Play last year, as part of the internet giant’s efforts to combat fraud.

“We’ve raised the bar for new developers to join the Play ecosystem with phone, email, and other identity verification methods, which contributed to a reduction in accounts used to publish violative apps,” Google notes.

Through its App Security Improvements program, Google helped Android developers resolve roughly 500,000 weaknesses in approximately 300,000 applications.

To help developers choose safe and reliable SDKs, the company launched the Google Play SDK Index in 2022 and continues to work with SDK providers to improve their products and better align them with existing Google Play and Android policies.

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To better fight fraudulent and malicious ads on Google Play, the internet giant updated its ads policy for developers, including preventing unexpected full screen interstitial ads.

Last year, Google also introduced a ‘Data safety section’ in the Play store, to provide users with increased clarity on how applications collect, protect, and share their data.

Also last year, McAfee and Trend Micro joined the App Defense Alliance – which included ESET, Google, Lookout, and Zimperium – an effort aimed at reducing the risk of app-based malware through shared intelligence and coordinated detection.

Related: 1.2 Million Bad Apps Blocked From Reaching Google Play in 2021

Related: Google Wants Android Users to Have More Control Over Their Data

Related: Google Describes Privacy, Security Improvements in Android 14

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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