Google Play Store Sees 98% Drop in Apps Requesting Call & SMS Data Unnecessarily

Throughout 2018, there was a massive uproar about Play Store applications unnecessarily accessing call logs and SMS data. Since then, Google has tightened its grip on Android applications abusing permissions.

In a recent blog post, the company explained how its pursuit of removing bad applications is paying off. Based on the statistics revealed in the blog post, there was a 98 percent drop in the number of Play Store apps accessing call log and SMS data in 2019. The remaining 2 percent of applications are the ones that actually need to access the user’s call and SMS logs to work properly.

Apart from this, Google has also pointed out that it is working on improving vetting mechanisms to prevent applications from reaching Play Store if they don’t comply with the policies. According to the available numbers, about 790,000 applications have been debarred until now.

In May-2019, the search engine giant rolled out a new policy that required the developers to state whether the application was targeted at kids or not. Moreover, Google’s Play Protect helped keep malware at bay by blocking more than 1.9 billion instances of non Play Store malware.

However, malware remained an issue for Play Store throughout 2019, and it will continue to be a problem in 2020 as well. Recently, rogue code was delivered to multiple smartphones via a few compromised Play Store applications, which shows that although Google is making major strides in improving app security, there’s a lot of room for improvement.