Alongside the launch of Android 12 DP3, Google today provided an overview of how the Play Store fought “bad” apps and developers in 2020. 

The company credits machine learning and enhanced app review processes for preventing “over 962K policy-violating app submissions from getting published,” while 119K malicious and spammy developer accounts were banned.

In the past year, Google released new policies around sensitive COVID-19 information, apps categorized as providing “News” and election support, including having “specially trained app reviewers” to address related threats and abuse.

Another big focus for the Google Play Store in 2020 was reducing developer access to sensitive permissions. It has begun enforcement on apps that request background location without demonstrating a clear benefit. Similarly, Google says it significantly increased SDK enforcement as those “violations have an outsized impact on security and user data privacy.” 

To improve the developer experience, Google says it’s providing more relevant information when it takes action and enforces rules. This has resulted in “significant reduction in appeals and increased developer satisfaction.” 

We will continue to enhance the speed and quality of our communications to developers, and continue listening to feedback about how we can further engage and elevate trusted developers. Android developers can expect to see more on this front in the coming year. 

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