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Google Tackles Dangerous Problems with Android Apps

TL;DR: Google introduced official “Government” badges for Android apps to help users identify legitimate government apps, tackling the issue of fake apps impersonating official ones to steal data or money.

Good news for Android users. Google Play Store is now making it easier to spot real government apps. After months of testing, official badges are coming out in over 14 countries. These badges will mark state and federal government apps. This plan aims to deal with the issue of fake apps pretending to be official/government ones to steal data or money.

It’s a big problem.

Google said that these badges currently cover more than 2,000 apps in countries including:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • France
  • the United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • the United States
  • Brazil
  • Indonesia
  • India
  • Mexico

In November 2023, the company hinted at this feature when it announced new rules for app developers.

How to Find the Government Badge on Android Apps

Look for the new “Government” badge shown clearly on official apps. Tapping the badge shows a message confirming the Play Store’s check of the app’s link with a government entity. These badges will also be visible in app listings like “Top Charts.”

Worked with Governments Worldwide, Including India

Google has worked with governments and their developers to ensure a smooth rollout of these badges. This is particularly important in regions like India, where fake government apps have been a worry.

It’s important to note that Google Play Store already has policies in place to stop misleading apps. These policies prohibit apps with false descriptions, icons, or screenshots, especially those claiming to be official.

Additionally, Google’s rules specifically target apps that falsely represent government affiliation or offer unauthorized services.

Safety Through Checking

For secure processing of government documents within apps, Google may request developers to submit authorization proof. Furthermore, Google encourages governments to use official email addresses when creating developer accounts for publishing apps on the Play Store.

This update from the Google Play Store empowers users to make informed choices when downloading government-related apps, promoting a safer and more reliable mobile experience.


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