Google removes 3 mobile apps with 20 million downloads from Play Store; uninstall them now
Google has removed three mobile apps from the Android Play Store for violating its data collection policies and accessing details of over million of users. These three apps had over 20 million downloads between them which included a younger user base.
Google has removed three mobile apps from the Android Play Store for violating its data collection policies and accessing details of over million of users. These three apps had over 20 million downloads between them which included a younger user base. Researchers at the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC) found that the three apps - Princess Salon, Number Coloring, and Cats & Cosplay - were accessing users’ Android ID and AAID (Android Advertising ID) numbers, and were violating Google’s data collection policies.
Soon after Google's attention was caught about the the apps collecting user data and violating its policies, the three apps were removed from the Google Play Store. “We can confirm that the apps referenced in the report were removed. Whenever we find an app that violates our policies, we take action,” a Google spokesperson said.
Even though these apps have been removed from the Play Store, they will continue to run if you had installed them before the action was taken. In this case, you need to manually uninstall the apps from your smartphone.
Meanwhile, as many as 21 gaming apps with adware have been identified on the Google Play Store by Cybersecurity firm Avast. The researchers claim that these apps contain adware which is part of the HiddenAds family. All these apps have been reported to Google already. The “The HiddenAds family is a Trojan disguised as a safe and useful application but instead serves intrusive ads outside of the app,” Avast explained. The apps disguised as sports, puzzle, car and helicopter gaming apps were meant to display intrusive ads.
“Numerous user reviews on the Google Play Store mention the apps grabbed their attention through advertisements on YouTube, promising a different game than what the app ultimately offered. Following the download, advertisements started flooding their phones,” Avast said.
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