As in previous years, Google shared a report on how they dealt with various threats and fringe developers on their Google Play app store. It’s not as comprehensive a report as last year, but it leaves us some data the battle against Google Play malware.
In the post, Google shared the steps taken in 2020 to improve the security and reliability of Google Play, as well as some anti-malware figures. Google’s rating systems prevented nearly a million apps from posting to the Play Store who broke the store rules.
Google Play Policy Changes
A year gives many changes and adjustments in an app store, and Google has summed up the main ones changes you’ve made to your Google Play policies To improve the reliability and security of published applications:
Special rules for COVID-19 applications. Google has introduced a series of specific rules for coronavirus-related apps, eliminating all redundant apps and only allowing those that have been approved by official organizations.
Special rules for news apps. Likewise, news apps had to meet a series of minimum requirements to be published on Google Play, including transparency about the source and authorship of the content.
Special attention to elections. In 2020 and coinciding with the election in the United States, Google created a special team of app reviewers to deal with possible threats and abuse in its store.
Limitation of authorizations. In 2020, Google began asking developers to limit access to the background location, access that should only be used when strictly necessary. For no clear reason, an app that continues to use permission may end up getting deleted from Google Play.
Children tab. In April of last year, Google Play changed the Family tab to Kids, with a selection of apps approved by teachers.
Better support. Developer support has always been a friction element, and Google says it has optimized its processes to improve this communication. As a result, the time required to process calls has been “drastically” reduced.
The numbers for the fight against malware in 2020
As shared by Google, every day, its Play Protect security system analyzes 100,000 million applications installed, and while we don’t know how many of them turn out to be malware – Google usually makes another more specific report with this data – we have some other curious information about it.
We only find Google Play malware when, unfortunately, it does eventually reach users, but Google wanted to give us visibility into the process behind it. In 2020, automated systems and manual reviewers prevented 962,000 malicious apps from reaching the store.
In addition, 119,000 malicious developers or who created spam apps have been banned from the Google store, preventing them from continuing to publish apps, at least not without first creating a new account.
More information | Google