Google released a report on the state of security in the Play Store, covering threats to users, its own app, and more.
The main statistic is that Google pre-emptively blocked 1.2 million apps from publishing for violating its platform rules in 2021. On top of that, Google also banned 190,000 developer accounts for behavior malicious and shut down 500,000 inactive developer accounts.
“Last year, we introduced several privacy-focused features, improved our protections against bad apps and developers, and enhanced SDK data security,” the company wrote.
“In addition, Google Play Protect continues to scan billions of apps installed on billions of devices every day to protect users from malware and unwanted software.”
Malware has long been a problem on the Play Store. The most recent example, reported by the the wall street journalwas tied to a US defense contractor and impacted Muslim prayer apps with over 10 million downloads, among others.
Compared to Apple, Google has sometimes had a more lax approach to checking app submissions, leaving users to rely more on Android antivirus services. Over time, the company has become more aggressive in weeding out bad actors.
Play Store Progress
In its blog post, Google details the progress it has made in preventing developers from releasing apps that will harm users.
“Thanks to new platform protections and policies, developer collaboration and training, 98% of apps migrating to Android 11 or later reduced their access to sensitive APIs and user data,” the company says. .
Pixel users have also received special treatment from Google, including a new Security Hub that offers a centralized way to manage security on Android.
Google is also introducing new machine learning models to help improve malware and ransomware detection on Pixel devices.