Google to Begin Enormous Slaughter of Hazardous Apps - The UpStream

Google to Begin Enormous Slaughter of Hazardous Apps

posted Saturday Feb 11, 2017 by Scott Ertz

Google to Begin Enormous Slaughter of Hazardous Apps

Google is definitely not a company known for security or privacy. There have been privacy concerns with products like Google Wave and security issues with allowing unsafe ads in Adsense. The lack of interest, however, is most obvious in Google Play. The company has rules for what must be included to submit an app. However, those rules are not enforced and unsafe apps flood the marketplace. Malware numbers are in the millions in the Play Store.

All of that could change, however, with an email that was sent to some developers recently. One of the policies that has been ignored in the Play Store has been the requirement for a detailed privacy policy if you use certain APIs. For example, if you access the microphone you must explain why and how the data will be used. Unfortunately, Google has never actually enforced the requirement of these documents. That is until now.

A recent email sent to developers who are missing the privacy policy informed them that apps will be removed from the Play Store if they fail to comply. This could signal a change inside of Google that they are going to actually start caring about your privacy and security. It's obviously an important topic as Android is installed on more types of devices and apps are available on even more. With televisions, phones, watches and even computers running Android applications, your security and privacy are more at risk than ever. The current email going around shows a date of March, 15th 2017 to fix the issue or apps will start disappearing from the store.

If you've interacted with the Play Store at all, you know that this could affect millions of applications that have either been lax on supporting, or have ignored the requirement entirely. Obviously this is good news for users of Android and Chrome OS.

People who are not terribly tech savvy are often tricked into downloading apps that look legitimate, but access your contacts, your account and other sensitive information without telling you what they intend to do with that data. Hopefully this change in policy at Google will begin to put an end to this deceptive practice that is so prevalent on the platform.

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