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Google Removes 600 Android Apps for Displaying Disruptive Ads

Google has removed roughly 600 applications from Google Play for violating its ad-related policies, the Internet search giant announced this week.

In addition, the company banned them from Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager, its ad monetization platforms.

Google has removed roughly 600 applications from Google Play for violating its ad-related policies, the Internet search giant announced this week.

In addition, the company banned them from Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager, its ad monetization platforms.

The reason, it says, was that these applications were engaging in ad fraud activities, a practice that has the “potential to harm users, advertisers and publishers.”

The apps, Google says, violated its policies related to disruptive ads and disallowed interstitial.

“We define disruptive ads as ads that are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions,” the company explains.

Some of the disruptive ads displayed by applications are out-of-context, meaning that they are served when the user is not active in the developer’s app, which is considered invasive and could disrupt device functions.

Such disruptive instances may involve, for example, full-screen ads served when users attempt to make phone calls, unlock their phones, or while using turn-by-turn navigation.

The Internet giant also notes that it has been developing new technologies and using machine learning to protect against disruptive ads, although developers are becoming savvier in deploying and masking disruptive ads.

“As we move forward, we will continue to invest in new technologies to detect and prevent emerging threats that can generate invalid traffic, including disruptive ads, and to find more ways to adapt and evolve our platform and ecosystem policies to ensure that users and advertisers are protected from bad behavior,” Google concludes.

Related: Google Removes Mideast Android App ToTok

Related: Malicious Optimizers Hosted on Google Play Amassed 470,000 Downloads

Related: Google Play Protect Scans 100 Billion Android Apps Daily

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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