One of the most used platforms to download applications, Google Play Store is home to over 3.5 million applications which fall into a variety of categories from video games to E-commerce apps. Since the platform is trusted by people all around the world to consist of secure apps which do not violate their privacy, Google has kept strict surveillance on all the apps from the platform. The number of applications on the platform is so large that it is only expected that some of those apps may violate the regulations set by Google. In this case, Google takes these apps down from their platform. There have been several instances in the past where Google has taken similar steps to ensure the data safety of users of Play Store. In a similar case, Google has recently banned another 38 applications from the Play Store. The applications were found in violation of the platform’s policies and were downloading adware on devices in the background. What makes this even more concerning that several apps in the list were downloaded millions of times.
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Previous Instances of such action:
In August of 2021, Google had removed 106 applications from the Play Store which were found in violation of their terms. Similar to the apps which have been banned now, these apps also contained adware that displayed intrusive ads to the users. This made it very inconvenient for those affected to use their devices effectively. As per the reports of a cybersecurity firm, these apps had been downloaded over 4.5 million times before they were finally removed from the platform.
In another instance in 2019, the tech giant had removed 46 apps from the Play Store. The Chinese apps were allegedly involved in fraudulent activities including click fraud and ad fraud.
In another noteworthy case, Google had removed about 500 apps from Play Store citing a violation of their terms on multiple counts.
These incidents have served as wake-up calls for developers to ensure the security of their apps and for users to be more careful while trusting the applications they install.
These are just a few examples of instances where Google has removed apps from the Play Store due to security or policy violations. While these incidents are concerning, it’s important to note that Google has taken swift action to remove the offending apps from its platform.
What to keep in mind?
Although the play store has numerous levels of checks that Google keeps in mind before allowing an app on the play store, there are some apps which users need to be careful about. Here are some steps which are to be taken care of while downloading apps for your phone.
- It is always advisable to download apps from trusted sources like the play store for android users and the Apple app store for iOS users. Other such services might not have the same level of security checks and people who download from such services might be at a greater risk of being victims of malicious apps.
- Users must also be very careful about the permissions that they have provided to suspicious applications. Although there are apps which require certain permissions to perform their functions, users must be careful while allowing access to features an app might not need to function.
- App developers often release new updates which make the app more secure. Users must make sure that they have the most updated versions of the applications that they have installed.
- They can also make use of security softwares which detect the presence of any harmful viruses and malwares in the system.
Recently, the tech giant had banned 38 apps which allegedly downloaded adwares in the background while they were being used. Some of these apps were free to play copies of the popular game: “Minecraft”. These apps had millions of downloads and made it difficult for the users to use their phones by showing constant ads. These included apps like Block Box Master Diamond, Craft Sword Mini Fun, Block Box Skyland Sword, Craft Monster Crazy Sword, and Block Pro Forrest Diamond which have been downloaded over 26 million times.