Google says stopped billions of harmful downloads

(IANS) Google blocked 1.2 million policy-violating apps from being published on Play Store in 2021, preventing billions of harmful downloads by users.

Google said in its bid to combat malicious and spammy developers, it banned 190,000 bad accounts in 2021.

“In addition, we have closed around 500,000 developer accounts that are inactive or abandoned,” the Android security and privacy team said in a statement.

According to the company, 98 per cent of apps migrating to Android 11 or higher have reduced their access to sensitive application programming interfaces (APIs) and user data.

“We’ve also significantly reduced the unnecessary, dangerous, or disallowed use of Accessibility APIs in apps migrating to Android 12, while preserving the functionality of legitimate use cases,” said Google.

Google last year introduced multiple privacy-focused features, enhanced its protections against bad apps and developers and improved SDK data safety.

“In addition, Google Play Protect continues to scan billions of installed apps each day across billions of devices to keep people safe from malware and unwanted software,” said the company.

Earlier this week, Google said it is rolling out a new data safety section in the Play Store, where developers will be required to give people more information about how apps collect, share and secure users’ data.

App developers have time till July 20 to add the information to their listings.

The new initiative on Google Play Store follows the launch of a similar feature on Apple’s App Store in late 2020.

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