How Google’s Latest Move Means Bad News

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Google’s Latest Move:

Online search giant Google is working its best to kill any chances of any information breach via its Play Store platform. This search giant has updated its Deception policy, Privacy, and Security, and added a class of “fake ID applications”. The update in the Google’s Developer Policy Center says, “We (Google) don’t permit apps that support users to mislead others, including. But not limited to, applications that create or facilitate the generation of social security numbers, passports, ID cards, diplomas, credit cards and driver’s licenses”. The list also includes applications that survive ‘only for fun’ or ‘as a prank’.”

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A fast search for fake ID applications on Google Play Store shows the plethora of such apps. The company has neither published the names of these applications nor given a timeline of the elimination, perhaps making it a continuous takedown. Earlier this year, the company had a main clean-up. When it eliminated over 7 lakh malicious apps from Play Store in last year that violated its policies. The search giant Google has developed new detection models and methods. That can identify repeat offenders and abusive developer networks at scale. The company also took down one lakh bad developers in last year.

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Product Manager of Google Play:

Andrew Ahn is a Product Manager of Google Play. He said something in a blog post. He said “Not just did we eliminate more bad apps. We were able to classify and take action against them earlier. This was probably through vital improvements in our ability to catch abuse such as impersonation, inappropriate content, or malware. Through new Machine Learning models and systems”.

Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs) are a type of malware that can harm the user or their phones like apps that conduct SMS fraud, act as trojans or phishing people’s data. The post said, “With the release of Google Play Protect in 2017, the annual PHA installs rates on Google Play was reduced by 50% years over year”.