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    Google Play adds independent security review badge to highlight trusted VPNs

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    Last updated: November 3rd, 2023 at 06:08 UTC+01:00

    In 2023, Google pledged to make Android and the Play Store a more secure ecosystem, and for that, it brought multiple tweaks to the Data safety section of the Google Play Store, such as the ‘Independent security reviews'. Now, according to the latest report, Google is displaying the Independent Security Review badge prominently when you search for VPN apps.

    As noted in the official blog, researchers found that the Independent Security Reviews badge plays an important role in mitigating consumer risk of downloading malicious apps, building trust, and influencing purchasing products. Developers of VPN apps can have their apps independently validated against a global security standard. Once done, they will receive a badge (shield with a star icon) that will appear at the bottom of the Data Safety section on the Play Store.

    Apps from other categories may soon be able to go through this process and earn a badge

     

    Google is now asking users to look for the Independent Security Review badge when they search for a VPN. This is expected to expand to other categories of apps as well, but for now, VPN apps are the ones getting preferential treatment. The main reason for VPNs taking up the first place for receiving the Independent Security Review badge on the Play Store is the fact that these apps are involved in handling sensitive and significant amounts of user data.

    Some of the VPN providers that have gone through the Independent Security Review and received the badge include Google One, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN. Notably, there are a total of eight providers. Google has urged other VPN providers to undergo independent security testing, bringing even more transparency to users. For VPN developers, Google has provided a link to a form that will give more information about this program.

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