Google Play Store now prominently features apps that have undergone “Independent security reviews” in its search results, starting with VPN apps. Users searching for VPN apps will now see a badge in the Data Safety section of the search results, signifying that these apps have been independently validated against a global security standard. The badge indicates that developers have prioritized mobile security and privacy best practices and have taken extra steps to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities.
This move by Google is a step toward informing users about the security and privacy practices of app developers, particularly for VPN apps that handle significant amounts of sensitive user data. The goal is to encourage users to opt for apps that have this additional level of security validation. Several well-known VPN providers, including Google One, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN, have already undergone this certification process.
By clicking “Learn More,” users can access the App Validation Directory, where they can find further technical assessment details and view all VPN apps that have been independently security reviewed. Google anticipates that this initiative will inspire more VPN app developers to undergo independent security testing, further enhancing transparency for users.
“While certification to baseline security standards does not imply that a product is free of vulnerabilities,” Google explains “the badge associated with these validated apps helps users see at-a-glance that a developer has prioritized security and privacy practices and committed to user safety.”
In addition to bolstering app security, Google has unveiled a range of new tools and features designed to enhance online business presence and improve customer engagement. As the holiday season approaches, these additions aim to assist businesses, particularly small and local enterprises, in effectively connecting with customers during this crucial shopping period.