Working Google is working to enhance the integration of its Android App Store by adding new restrictions and safeguards to developer accounts.
Soon, Google Play Store developers will have to verify their email address and phone number and provide additional details such as the physical address in an effort to increase security and ensure accounts are created by real people.
Developers are also required to use two-step verification (two-factor authentication).
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The search giant says it is making the changes to keep its store secure and to better serve its developer community. In addition to making sure that every account created by a real person has real contact details.
The announcement coincides with the emergence of vendors creating large amounts of developer accounts for others to use to upload malware and other deceptive apps to the Google Play store.
show screenshot According to the Cybercrime Forum post, these accounts sell for $89 each.
Meanwhile, the requirement for two-step verification should make it more difficult for fraudsters to break into and steal legitimate developer accounts.
This mirrors a similar change that the search giant announced for regular Google accounts earlier this year, which is now enabling two-factor authentication by default.
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Google strengthens verification process for Android developers
The changes are significant compared to the current Google developer account policies that only require new signups to provide an email address and phone number.
The company says details such as your physical address will not be visible to the public, and are only meant to help it confirm your identity and communicate with you.
Google is introducing the new requirements in stages. From today, account holders have the option to set their account type as Personal or Business and check their contact details.
In August, all new subscribers are required to follow these same steps when creating their account. And use two-step verification.
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Furthermore, the changes are fully implemented for all existing accounts later this year.
The changes come amid a broader crackdown on deceptive apps across the Google Play Store. This campaign prevents developers from using specific tactics to incentivize installs.
App menus will no longer be able to use eye-catching features like capital letters or emojis in their titles, or include phrases like download now.