Google removes 46 apps from Play Store committing ad-fraud: Check if you have installed these apps

Apps on smartphone

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  • Google has banned many Do Global apps from Play Store on account of committing ad-fraud.
  • Google has removed 46 of the 100 apps from the Play Store.
  • The ad-fraud was first detected by Checkpoint Security.

Google has been taking security on the Android platform very seriously. We have been often subjected to media reports talking about mass removal of malware-infested apps from the Play Store and banning several developers as well. Google has also been tightening its laws over apps that do ad-fraud on a large scale. After taking action on DU Group a few days ago for the same reason, Google has now banned several apps from another Chinese developer on the Play Store.

In a recently published report from BuzzFeed News, Google has removed a majority of apps from DO Global, a Chinese app developer. All apps from DO Global had managed to get up to 600 million downloads but despite the big numbers, Google has removed 46 of its 100 apps from the Play Store. Not only that, Google has also banned the developer from its AdMob network. Therefore, Do Global cannot publish advertisements via Google’s ad network for mobiles.

The ban was implemented after Google found out that most of the apps were committing ad-fraud. The apps were coded in a way to open advertisements on their own, even if the user wasn’t using the app. The ad-fraud was first detected by Checkpoint Security and was later reported to Google, following which the apps were removed from the Play Store. The apps were violating the guidelines of the Play Store.

Some of the popular apps with thousands of downloads involved Photo editor – Makeup Camera & Photo Effects and Crashy Cops. If you have these apps installed on your Android smartphone or tablet, it is advised to uninstall them as soon as possible.

This isn’t the first time Google has banned apps from a developer committing ad-frauds. A few weeks ago, another popular app developer – DU Group, was also flagged for committing ad-frauds through its apps. DU Group had some popular apps in the Play Store that were downloaded by many users — Omni Cleaner, RAM Master, Smart Cooler, Total Cleaner and AIO Flashlight, aside from Selfie Camera.

“We actively investigate malicious behaviour, 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,” a Google spokesperson said in the BuzzFeed News report.

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