Cyber Security

Google on Monday announced new measures for the Play Store, including requiring developer accounts to turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV), provide an address, and verify their contact details later this year.

The new identification and two-factor authentication requirements are a step towards strengthening account security and ensuring a safe and secure app marketplace, Google Play Trust and Safety team said.

As part of the changes, individual users and businesses in possession of Google Play developer accounts will be asked to specify an account type (personal or organization), a contact name, their physical address, as well as verifying the email address and phone number provided during account creation.

In addition, the search giant is also mandating users of Google Play Console to sign in using Google’s 2-Step Verification to prevent account takeover attacks.

According to the timeline shared by Google, developer account owners will be able to declare their account type and verify their contact details effective June 28, while coming August, all new developer accounts will need to specify their account type and verify their contact information at sign-up, in addition to enabling 2SV.

All the aforementioned requirements are expected to be expanded to all existing developer account owners later this year.

The development comes as part of the company’s efforts to combat scams and fraudulent developer accounts on the platform that have been sold in the past on underground forums to disguise malware as legitimate apps.

Earlier this April, Google said its machine-learning detection capabilities and enhanced app review processes prevented over 962,000 policy-violating app submissions from getting published to Google Play, adding it banned 119,000 malicious and spammy developer accounts in 2020.