Google Removed Over 7 Lakh Malicious Apps From Play Store In 2017, Barred 1 Lakh Developers

| January 31 , 2018 , 15:26 IST

In the year 2017, Google removed over 7 lakh malicious apps from its Play Store that were violating its policies, and also took down 1 lakh bad developers, the company said on Wednesday. The number of apps that were taken down in 2017 was 70 percent more than the number of apps taken down in 2016.

"Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and take action against them earlier," Product Manager of Google Play Andrew Ahn said, adding that 99 percent of the apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected even before they could have been installed.

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"This was possible through significant improvements in our ability to detect abuse -- such as impersonation, inappropriate content, or malware -- through new Machine Learning models and techniques," Ahn said.

"Tens of thousands of apps with inappropriate content were taken down last year as a result of such improved detection methods," the company noted.

"In 2017, we took down more than a quarter of a million of impersonating apps," he said.

'Copycat' apps use deceptive methods such as confusable Unicode characters or app icons in different locations to so as to impersonate famous apps.

Google's improved machine learning models scan through massive numbers of incoming app submissions and flag potential violations for inappropriate content, such as pornography, extreme violence, hate and illegal activities.