Why google deleted around 700 thousand apps from play store in 2017?
Google has recently announced that it has wiped out around 700,000 harmful and suspicious apps from its Play Store in 2017. You may think why Google removed 700 thousand apps. If you compare the number with that in 2016, there has been a rise of nearly 70 percent in the deletion of apps by Google. Not only that, Google has banned nearly 100,000 Android developers from uploading any Android app in the Play Store from now onwards. This is why 700 thousand apps were removed and developers blacklisted who repeatedly uploaded harmful apps breaking the guidelines of Play Store. This is a known fact that Google tests an app thoroughly with its built-in scanner on Play Store before allowing a developer to make the app live for Android users to install. The question arises how could so many harmful apps pass the tests and make it to Play Store?
How do these harmful app work operate?
There are nearly 2 billion Android devices active on Play Store and there are 3.5 million apps available for installation. It is a common habit of the smartphone users to try out new apps in search of interesting and unique features the app promises in the description. Users get tricked into installing various unknown apps which do not seem harmful thanks to the fake reviews. With no monetary transaction happening through those apps, users think that they are completely protected. But as an apparently harmless app as a flashlight is stealing your banking details, media files, personal data, and everything that can potentially harm you.
The developers manage to trick and bypass the scanning system of Google Play Stores and upload such potential harmful apps with malware to bug or hack the users. Most importantly, these apps’ malware work in the background constantly and secretly. Even some of the advanced anti-viruses are unable to detect them. Google claims that their automatic scanning system prevents nearly 99% of malicious apps from making it to Play Store though it seems far from the truth.
Which Are The Apps Google Deleted?
Google has deleted all those apps that are classified as copycats, apps containing inappropriate content and potentially harmful apps with suspicious activities. Some of the apps were deployed years ago and Google had not been able to detect them during their previous scans. Currently, they are using machine-learning technology to wipe out the apps with inappropriate and abusive content. This new technology-based detection system has also been able to identify the repeat offenders and ban them.
Google Play Product Manager Andrew Ahn said that most of the deleted apps were copycats. Copycats apps are those that have similar name and design as the popular apps. For example, there was an app named WhatsApp which was fake but some new users thought of it as authentic and there were over 1 million downloads. Andrew added that their current detection system is quite advanced though they are committed to advance it further for better protection of Android users. To tighten the security of Android devices, Google had introduced Google Play Protect which automatically scans the installed apps to detect suspicious activities and blacklist them on the Play Stores accordingly.
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