Google continuously updates its developer policies and introduces new features to make the Play Store as well as Android apps in general a safe experience for its customers. Just last month, the company announced that it will start removing applications that unnecessarily ask for Call Log and SMS permissions.
Now, the firm has shared some statistics regarding app submissions in 2018, and has also outlined plans for this year.
Google stated that due to more strenuous human review processes as well as autonomous ones, the company rejected 55% more Android app submissions in 2018 than in 2017. Furthermore, app suspensions also grew by more than 66%. It also discussed how its Play Protect service scrutinizes 50 billion apps every day to ensure that they aren't doing anything malicious.
With 2019 well underway, Google has also shared some of its plans for this year, stating that:
Protecting users' data and privacy is a critical factor in building user trust. We've long required developers to limit their device permission requests to what's necessary to provide the features of an app. Also, to help users understand how their data is being used, we've required developers to provide prominent disclosures about the collection and use of sensitive user data. Last year, we rejected or removed tens of thousands of apps that weren't in compliance with Play's policies related to user data and privacy.
The company will start enforcing more policies regarding permissions and user data this year as well.
Moreover, Google also stated that 80% of serious violations of its developer policies comes from the same bad actors and developer networks. When the accounts of these malicious developers are banned, they purchase more accounts from the black market to continue their illicit activities. To tackle this issue, the company is strengthening its automated and human review and account-matching processes so such developers aren't allowed to publish apps in the first place.
Despite all the measures employed by Google, the firm has stated that malicious entities keep evolving as well, so it will continue to "work relentlessly" to stop them.