Google blocks millions of apps from Playstore for Mobile Security

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In our daily news feed, stories abound of mobile applications collecting sensitive user data and transmitting it to remote servers, often for analysis or targeted advertising purposes. However, a significant shift is on the horizon, as Google, the behemoth of web search, is leveraging AI technology to crackdown on apps that violate its privacy policies within its Play Store.

In the preceding year, 2023, Google took decisive action by blocking approximately 2.28 million apps from being published on its platform, a notable increase from the 1.59 million apps blocked in 2022.

Notably, the company has also targeted nearly 333,000 accounts suspected of affiliations with threat actors or state intelligence groups, known for spreading malware and engaging in privacy policy breaches.

Today, many apps prompt users for various permissions upon initial use, such as access to photos, phone functions, SMS, or WhatsApp. While ostensibly intended to enhance user experience, such permissions pose significant privacy risks, potentially enabling developers to manipulate app choices and downloads behind the scenes.

While developers often argue that data collection is necessary for optimal app functionality, many of these mobile applications fail to adhere to established guidelines and instead operate at the whims of their administrators.

In a recent development, Google, in collaboration with Meta and Microsoft, established the App Defense Alliance (ADA), equipped with advanced machine learning algorithms. ADA scrutinizes each application submission, swiftly identifying any malicious activity and suspending offending apps, raising a red flag for further investigation.

Each flagged instance undergoes rigorous analysis to pinpoint discrepancies, culminating in a detailed report issued to the application owner or administrator, highlighting any malicious behavior within their mobile software.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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