Google Play Store has its own fail safes in place to detect malicious apps and untrustworthy developers, but every now and then a chink in their armor is exposed by smart hackers. With a huge number of apps published every year, Google employs machine learning and AI courtesy of the Play Protect introduced back in 2017 to tighten the noose on suspicious apps. A good example of security is the mind-boggling data suggesting 100 billion installed app scans daily on billions of devices worldwide.
The app review process managed to weed out 962,000 suspicious apps and 119,000 not to be trusted developer accounts. 2020 was crucial for Play Store in light of fake news regarding elections and the COVID-19 pandemic, so Google had to be one step ahead to ensure no misinformation was spread.
To this end, Google put in place requirements for apps about the COVID-19 to have high-level user data privacy and that they’ll only be endorsed by government or healthcare authorities. In light of U.S. elections too, Google put a security mechanism in place to ensure no illegitimate apps were put up on the Play Store.
Other than these top priority developments, Google made good progress with how apps request location access, storage access or other sensitive permissions. The requirements in place keep things transparent, and apps that don’t follow guidelines are removed from the Store.
Since most of the kids are on their devices for the most part of the day, in 2020 Google also launched the Teacher-approved apps which are scrutinized by academic experts. This is a great step by Google to make sure only the best content is served to kids.
Google is constantly improving its security and the quality of apps served in the Play Store. But as we said, there is still a long way to go before it will be full-proof as hackers find ways to go around the machine learning AI.