Google has moved to ban a massive app developer from the Google Play Store and is working to remove all apps connected to the developer from the Google Play Store. DO Global had more than 100 apps on Google’s store but most have already been removed and the internet giant is also looking to remove apps from any subsidiaries connected to the developer.
The reason behind the ban and the purge is ad fraud on a grand scale and abuse of user permissions. Apps connected to the developer had been clicking on ads without user consent in an attempt to drive up revenue. The news of individual apps being taken from the Play Store first broke earlier this month, but it is only in the last few days that Google has moved against all DO Global apps that have violated Google’s terms in this way.
Almost 50 popular apps like ES File Explorer have been removed from the Play Store
The Google Play Store is the biggest app store on the planet. Accordingly, security risks, malware-infested apps, and fake app scams are regular on the Play Store with Google constantly having to take action against malicious actors like hackers or cyber-criminals. The move to ban DO Global, however, and remove all of its apps from the Play Store is one of the biggest such moves yet.
DO Global had over 100 apps on the Play Store and could lay claim to over 600 million downloads. This has now all changed with Google having removed 46 DO Global apps from its app store and actively looking at subsidiary developers that are linked to DO Global. ES File Explorer, for example, which has now gone from the Play Store was developed by ES Global, but listed on the website of Du Global, which is a subsidiary of DO Global. Another issue Google had with the apps that have been removed is that they made it difficult to see that DO Global was behind them, which also violates the Play Store policy.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News on the breach of trust by the developer behind generic sounding apps like “Selfie Camera” and “Photo Artist Studio” a Google spokesperson said, “We actively investigate malicious behavior, and when we find violations, we take action, including the removal of a developer’s ability to monetize their app with AdMob or publish on Play.” If Google is stopping you from placing ads on apps in the Play Store, then you know you’ve done something seriously wrong.
According to a report by XDA Developers though, there is a chance the apps could come back to the Play Store, if a few adjustments are made. It could be in this regard that DO Global has posted a statement on its website apologizing for the breach and saying that it supported Google’s decision. This means it might not be long before the apps in question find their way back onto the Play Store.