Millions of apps which could be leaking your data to be removed from Google Play Store

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Google is launching a crackdown on apps in the Google Play Store which do not have valid privacy policies.

The move could affect millions of apps that handle personal or sensitive user data without having a valid privacy policy.

According to The Next Web, Google is contacting developers informing them they have until March 15 to fix the issue and warned their app will be taken to ‘limited visibility’, with the worst offenders being removed from the Play Store altogether if they do not meet Google’s standards on handling users data.

According to Google, sensitive data includes financial or payment information, contacts and phonebook data and also data from your microphone or camera.

Any app that requests access to this data but which does not have a valid privacy policy faces being removed from the Google Play Store after March 15.

“I think it’s fantastic, this will clear the Google Play store of so many junk and zombie apps that our games will find increased visibility on the store as the search terms will become much less cluttered,” Jack Cooney, creator of the app Hip Hop Ninja, told The Next Web.

Google’s purge of apps without valid privacy policies should help to boost confidence among Android users and comes at a time of increased cyber attacks related to malware and malicious apps on Android.

Because of the open source nature of Google’s operating system it can be easier for malicious apps to find their way into the Play Store. It’s nearly always the case the apps will not have valid privacy policies.

Last week, online security firm Symantec creators of Norton Antivirus, said it had discovered apps that contained malware in the Google Play Store.

The apps named in the report were Clean Master Boost and Clean, Fast Charge 2017 and Fast Charge X3 Free, all of which have now been removed.

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