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Google wants to enhance integrity in the Play Store, by adding new restrictions and safety measures to developer accounts. Google Play Store developers will soon be needed to verify their email address and phone number, as well as provide extra details like a physical address.

The move is an attempt to make sure that the accounts are being created by actual people. Developers will also be required to use two-step verification. The search giant says it is making changes so Google Play can be secure and safer to serve the developers better.

Preventative measures

The move comes at a time when there is an emergence of a large number of developer accounts created so people can upload malware and scammy apps to the Play Store.

A screenshot of a cybercrime forum posted by ‘The Record’ shows that the developer accounts are being sold for $89 each. Meanwhile, the two-step verification requirement should make it harder for scammers to break into and take over legitimate developer accounts.

The changes are meaningful, given that the current developer account policies require new sign-ups to only provide an email address and a phone number.

Removing scammy apps from the Play Store

The new requirements are not going to go into effect all at once and will be introduced in stages. It says that from today, account owners will have the option of setting their account type to personal or business and then verify their contact details.

In August, all the new sign-ups will be required to follow the same steps that they used when creating their accounts and use the two-step verification process. Later this year, the changes will be fully implemented for all created accounts. The changes are part of a wider scammy apps crackdown on the Play Store, which will hopefully weed out the scams and clickbait titles.