Google has banned nearly 600 Android apps from the Play Store for bombarding users with disruptive ads and violating its advertising guidelines.
The company categorizes disruptive ads as “ads that are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions,” such as a full-screen ad served when attempting to make a phone call.
Although Google didn’t name the specific apps in question, many of the apps — which had been installed more than 4.5 billion times — primarily targeted English-speaking users and were mainly from developers based in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India, according to Buzzfeed News.
Highlighting that malicious developers are getting “more savvy in deploying and masking disruptive ads,” the company said it has developed new counter mechanisms to detect such behavior.
Trouble in Google Play Store
This is not the first time adware apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. Back in 2018, Cheetah Mobile was accused of turning smartphones into stealthy click farms to engage in ad fraud, leading Google to ban a bunch of its apps from the Play Store.
Then last year, it banned app developer Do…