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Google play store has rolled out a new badge to highlight apps that have been independently security reviewed.

Apps that have undergone a Mobile Application Security Assessment (MASA) audit will now have a badge in the app’s data safety section on the Play Store. This helps provide more transparency and allow users to make informed choices when downloading the apps. App developers can now get their app independently validated against a global security standard, such as the MASVA, the Mobile Application Security Verification. There are currently six authorised lab partners that developers can reach out to get their apps tested. Testing will be done against the public version of the app available in the play store and the testers will flag any potential security issues that requires remediation. Once all the requirements are met, the lab will send a validation report directly to Google as confirmation, allowing the developers to declare the security badge on their data safety form. The process from initial assessment to badge availability takes around 2 to 3 weeks. Google has emphasised that the security validation process only checks if a developer has prioritised security and privacy practices. It does not imply that the validated app is free of vulnerabilities.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast