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The tech giant says it cancelled thousands of developer accounts and blocked over a million apps from reaching Google Play.

Google has issued an internal report on how successful the tech giant was in enforcing its new security policies on its Google Play app store.

Anu Yamunan and Khawaja Shams of the Android Security and Privacy Team and Mohet Saxena, Google’s Director of Trust & Safety for Play & Android Security, published the results in a blog post this week. “Keeping Google Play safe for users and developers remains a top priority for Google”, they write. “Google Play Protect continues to scan billions of installed apps each day across billions of Android devices to keep users safe from threats like malware and unwanted software”.

The writers boast that in 2022 they prevented 1.43 million policy-violating apps from being published on Google Play. This, they say, was in part due to “new and improved security features and policy enhancements“.

Google also “continued to combat malicious developers and fraud rings”, and the team has banned 173,000 “bad accounts”. This, in turn, helped Google to prevent over $2 billion in “fraudulent and abusive transactions”, according to the bloggers.

Screening developers for Play access

“We’ve raised the bar for new developers to join the Play ecosystem with phone, email, and other identity verification methods,” the writers explain. They say this has contributed to a reduction in accounts used to publish “violative” apps on the Play platform.

Google says it has also strengthened Android platform protections, policies, and developer outreach and education, which has “prevented about 500,000 submitted apps from unnecessarily accessing sensitive permissions over the past 3 years”.

Helping developers “keep apps safe”

In 2022, Google says its App Security Improvements program helped developers fix about 500,000 security weaknesses affecting around 300,000 apps.

Google has also launched a Google Play SDK Index “to help developers evaluate an SDK’s reliability and safety and make informed decisions about whether an SDK is right for their business and their users”, they said.