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Is that VPN app on the Play Store safe? Google will now help inform you.

The banner will make it easier for users to see what apps have undergone an independent security review.
By

Published onNovember 2, 2023

Google Play Store app next to other Google Apps stock photo
TL;DR
  • Google is introducing a new banner in the Google Play store for specific app types.
  • The banner will inform the user what apps have received an independent security review.
  • The banner will first start appearing for VPN apps.

Last month, Google announced it was introducing real-time app scanning to Google Play Protect for Android app installs. Now the company is making it easier to see which apps have undergone an independent security review in the Google Play store.

Today, Google announced that it is adding a new banner to the Google Play store for specific app types. Providing a simplified view of what apps have gone through an independent security review, the banner will first start appearing for VPN apps.

Google says it will debut the banner for VPNs first due to the sensitive and significant amount of user data VPNs handle. In the image below, you can see an example of the banner users will see. It explains that apps with the badge shown to the right have been validated for the minimum global security standard.

 

Banner

These badges will appear in the data safety section of the app, which you can see in the image below. The security review is conducted by a third party using the Mobile App Security Assessment (MASA), an assessment that was introduced last year. Google says apps that have earned this badge are practicing at least the minimum industry mobile security and privacy standards.

Badge

If you want more information or to see what apps have been approved, Google says there will be a “Learn More” for users to navigate to. It will redirect the user to the App Validation Directory, where there is a complete list of reviewed apps, as well as additional technical assessment details.