Android: 98% of apps requesting call / sms removal have been removed
98% of Android apps that spy on users' calls and messages were removed from the Play Store in 2019, Google announced. The search giant said that 2% of apps still available in the Play store could not function properly without access to call and SMS data.
In a directive released to Android app developers in October 2018, Google announced that it would remove all Android apps that collect SMS and user call history for no reason. The company gave them a 90-day period to adapt to this new policy. Last year, Google made its threat. As a result, 98% of apps requesting access to calls and messages were removed from the Play Store, as the major US company announced in a post on its official blog on February 11, 2020. “We saw a significant decline of 98% applications that access SMS and Call log data, ”Google announced.
Some of the apps that violated Google's new rules have been upgraded by their developers to comply with the new rules. Google says the remaining 2% of apps really need access to calls and messages to "perform their primary function". Applications that have been deleted or customized by 98%, therefore, required access to calls and SMS without needing them, with the sole purpose of stealing personal data.
Of course, despite Google's new rules, there are still some malicious apps in the Play Store that require access to our phones' personal data. Recently, a study by VPN Pro revealed the presence of 24 Chinese applications, including games or fake antivirus applications, which collect calls and SMS from users. According to Google, the company has still blocked 790,000 Android apps that did not comply with the rules before they were posted to the Play Store in 2019.
Also read: HOW TO: protect yourself from scam apps in the Play Store / App Store
In its report, Google claims that it has blocked the installation of 1.9 billion malware from third-party platforms or an APK stolen in 2019. Just last year, 1.6 billion viruses were blocked before they entered smartphones. . According to the company, Google Play Protect, its malware protection mechanism, has improved significantly over the last three years.
"Google Play Protect scans over 100 billion applications a day, giving users information about possible security issues and what they can do to keep their devices safe," says Google. In its early days, Play Protect alone analyzed 50 billion applications a day.