Google’s numerous safeguards designed to prevent malicious apps from reaching Android users led to the removal of over 700,000 apps from the Google Play Store in 2017, the company said today. That’s a 70 percent increase over the total removals in 2016. “Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and action against them earlier,” Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn wrote in a blog post. “99 percent of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them.”
Google attributes this success to its improved ability to detect abuse “through new machine learning models and techniques.”
Copycat apps are still a significant problem
Copycat apps designed to resemble popular mainstays remain a popular method of trying to deceive users, according to Ahn. Google removed over a quarter of a million of these impersonating apps last year. The company also says it kept “tens of thousands” of apps with inappropriate content (pornography, extreme violence, hate, and illegal activities) out of the Play Store. Machine learning plays a key role here in helping human reviewers keep an eye out for bad apps and malicious developers.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht
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