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Google Play Store Banned 2.28 Mn Policy-Violating Apps in 2023, Sued Developers Behind 2 Fraudulent Apps

All Google Play Store apps requiring account creation need to provide an option to delete accounts and data within the app.

Google Play Store Banned 2.28 Mn Policy-Violating Apps in 2023, Sued Developers Behind 2 Fraudulent Apps

Google Play Store also rejected 200K app submissions for improper usage of sensitive permissions


Google Play Store prevented 2.28 million apps from being published in 2023 due to major policy violations. In a new report published by the tech giant, it highlighted the steps taken in the last year to ensure the security and privacy of Play Store users. The company further highlighted that it banned 3,33,000 developer accounts from the platform for confirmed malware and repeated severe policy violations. Google has also introduced new policies to improve the overall user experience in the app marketplace.

In a post on its security-focused blog, Google explained the measures it took in the year 2023 to protect its users from malicious apps, malware, and instances of online scams. Apart from preventing 2.28 million apps from being published on the grounds of policy violations and banning 333K developer accounts, the platform also rejected or remediated around 200K app submissions for not ensuring proper use of sensitive permissions. Sensitive permissions include background location tracking, access to SMS and Contacts, and more.

Additionally, the app marketplace has also filed a lawsuit in federal court against two app developers for making multiple attempts to upload fraudulent investment and crypto exchange apps to scam users. The company highlighted the fraudsters also provided misrepresentations to create a loophole in the acceptance process. “This lawsuit is a critical step in holding these bad actors accountable and sending a clear message that we will aggressively pursue those who seek to take advantage of our users,” Google added.

The tech giant is also making policy changes to ensure greater user safety. Apps that enable account creation will now need to provide an option to initiate account and data deletion within the app as well as online. This feature has also been added within the Data safety section of the Play Store.

Google has also restructured its App Defense Alliance (ADA) after partnering with Microsoft and Meta as steering committee members. ADA is now under the Joint Development Foundation, part of the Linux Foundation family. The company says the alliance is aimed at adopting app security best practices and guidelines as well as preparing countermeasures against emerging security risks.

The safety initiatives are not just limited to apps within the Google Play Store. The company said it boosted the capabilities of Play Protect to allow real-time scanning at the code level of an app downloaded from alternative app marketplaces. It claims that it was able to detect over five million new malicious off-Play apps. As per the post, Play Protect’s machine learning algorithms learn from each submitted app and self-improve over time.

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