Google will now show labels in Play Store to denote official government apps

Google will now show labels in Play Store to denote official government apps

Today, after months of testing, Google is rolling out labels in the Play Store to denote official state and federal government apps in more than 14 countries. This new label will help users rule out apps that masquerade as official apps to steal money or data.

The company said that these badges currently cover more than 2,000 apps in countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Mexico. Last November, the company teased this feature when it announced new rules for app developers.

Users will be able to see a new “Government” badge on official apps. If they tap on the badge, a pop-up displays a message saying, “Play verified this app is affiliated with a government entity.” The badge also shows up in lists like “Top Charts” for apps.

Google Play government badge

Image Credits: Screenshot from Google Play Store

Google said it has worked with governments and their developer partners to onboard apps with badges. In India, the company has faced problems with numerous fake central and state government apps popping up on the Play Store to dupe people.

The company noted that Play Store’s policy already doesn’t allow apps with false descriptions, misleading icons, or screenshots — especially the ones claiming to be official apps.

A common violation includes “apps that falsely claim affiliation with a government entity or to provide or facilitate government services for which they are not properly authorized,” Google’s rule about deceptive behavior read.

Google said that it asks developers to submit proof if they have sufficient permission to process government documents for safety reasons. It also encourages the government to use official email IDs to create developer accounts on Google Play to publish apps.