As part of protecting Android users from new abuses, Google Play rejected numerous app submissions and increased app suspensions in 2018.
Google Play works as the official app store for Android OS. According to Statista, Google Play Store is the largest app store having 2.1 million apps, followed by Apple’s App Store that has almost 2 million apps.
The core developers behind the Play Store committed to make it a secure and safe platform for billions of Android users. Last year, Google Play improved abuse protection against the platform and increased their team of product managers, engineers, policy experts, and operation leaders in order to combat cyberattacks.
Last year, the company announced new policies for detecting and removing malicious apps and developers faster and to stop bad actors from entering Play Store. In 2018, the company rejected around 55% more app submissions, and suspended 66% more apps.
“These increases can be attributed to our continued efforts to tighten policies to reduce the number of harmful apps on the Play Store, as well as our investments in automated protections and human review processes that play critical roles in identifying and enforcing on bad apps,” wrote Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play, in a blog post.
Along with detecting and stopping malicious apps from becoming a part of Play Store, Google Play Protect system scanned more than 50 billion apps on user devices every day. This helped in ensuring that no bad apps are harming user devices.
Google claims that apps installed from Google Play Store are 8x less likely to harm user devices than the ones installed from other sources.
Google developers are focusing on three main things to protect users from bad apps and malicious developers. These three things include protecting user privacy, developer integrity, and stopping harmful app contents and behaviors.
To protect user privacy, the company has set certain requirements from developers to limit their device permission requests. Their apps can ask permissions only for necessary things and let users know the way their data is used by the app.
In 2018, Google Play rejected and removed tens of thousands of apps from store that were not compliant with the policies.
Google has further made it more complex for spammy developers to publish their apps on Play Store.
“We find that over 80% of severe policy violations are conducted by repeat offenders and abusive developer networks,” added Andrew Ahn.
Google said that it will continue to boost the security and privacy of Play Store by improving capabilities to offer users secure and safe store.