Android safety: We stopped billions of dangerous app downloads, says Google


Google says it blocked 1.2 million apps from being revealed to the Google Play retailer as a result of the corporate detected coverage violations in its app overview processes, stopping “stopping billions of dangerous installations” on Android gadgets.  

Google’s Play Retailer opinions have usually been seen as much less strict than these in Apple’s App Retailer. Nonetheless, Google is making greater efforts to guard the privateness and safety of individuals utilizing the three billion energetic Android gadgets in use at present and it has stopped 1.2 million coverage violating apps from being distributed on the Play retailer by means of its app overview course of.  

Google says it additionally banned 190,000 unhealthy accounts in 2021 as a part of its efforts to hinder malicious and spammer builders. It additionally closed 500,00 inactive or deserted developer accounts. 

“Final 12 months we launched a number of privateness centered options, enhanced our protections towards unhealthy apps and builders, and improved SDK information security. As well as, Google Play Shield continues to scan billions of put in apps every day throughout billions of gadgets to maintain folks secure from malware and undesirable software program,” Google’s Android and Privateness groups stated in a blogpost. 

SEE: Google: We’re recognizing extra zero-day bugs than ever. However hackers nonetheless have it too straightforward

Google’s initiatives in 2021 aimed to strike a steadiness between end-user security and comfort for the builders whose work drives the Play Retailer, which had about 3.5 million apps obtainable for obtain. 

The amount of transactions on Apple’s and Google’s app shops is staggering. In keeping with cell advert analytics agency App Annie, shoppers spent $170 billion on cell apps in 2021, with roughly 65% share of revenues going to Apple’s App Retailer and 35% going to Google Play. Customers downloaded 230 billion new apps in 2021, or about 435,000 apps per minute. However 98.3 billion of these downloads have been by customers in China the place Google Play isn’t obtainable, whereas US shoppers accounted for 12 billion of the entire.  

In an effort to enhance transparency for finish customers, Google launched a knowledge security program final Might that requires builders to present customers particulars in regards to the sorts of information collected by an app, the usage of encryption, and the way information is used. Google requires builders to repair any detected violations of coverage. They threat additional enforcement if they do not adjust to Google’s requested fixes. Builders have till July 20 to declare to Play retailer customers data required within the information security initiative.  

Google additionally recurrently removes malicious apps from the Play retailer after they’re found by third-party researchers, who nonetheless handle to seek out them on a fairly common foundation. 

To assist builders handle rejections in the course of the overview course of, Google has added a Coverage and Applications part to the Google Play console for builders. It additionally has a web page to attraction selections and monitor the standing of a submission.   

The advantages of those initiatives are better for individuals who’ve upgraded to the newest variations of Android. 

“On account of new platform protections and insurance policies, developer collaboration and schooling, 98% of apps migrating to Android 11 or larger have decreased their entry to delicate APIs and person information,” Google claims. 

“We have additionally considerably decreased the pointless, harmful, or disallowed use of Accessibility APIs in apps migrating to Android 12, whereas preserving the performance of professional use circumstances.”

SEE: The most effective Android telephones: Higher than the iPhone?

Google additionally famous that it disallowed the gathering of Promoting ID (AAID) and different machine identifiers from all customers in apps solely focusing on youngsters. These included identifiers such because the SIM Serial quantity, MAC handle, SSID, IMEI, and IMSI. It additionally gave all customers the power to delete their Promoting ID totally, whatever the app. 

Google Pixel is a small share of the general Android market, however these customers gained a brand new Safety hub, or a single web page to handle all safety settings. 



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