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The ‘Independent Security Review’ badge for apps is now available on the Google Play Store

In the Play Store’s Data safety area, Google is now offering Android apps that have undergone a Mobile Application Security Assessment (MASA) audit with a “Independent security review” label.

According to Nataliya Stanetsky of the Android Security and Privacy Team, “We’ve launched this banner beginning with VPN apps due to the sensitive and significant amount of user data these apps handle.”

A global security standard like the Mobile Application Security Verification Standard (MASVS) can be independently used by developers to validate their apps through MASA, giving users more information and empowering them to make educated decisions before downloading.

The initiatives are a part of Google’s larger drive to transform the Data safety section into a one-stop shop that offers a “unified view of app safety,” providing information on the types of data being collected, why they are being collected, and whether or not they are shared with third parties.

Google Play Store

If other app developers would want to be involved, they may get in touch with any one of the six Authorized Labs partners directly. These partners will then test the public version of the app that is available in the Play Store and identify any security flaws that need to be fixed.

“Once the app meets all requirements, the lab sends a Validation Report directly to Google as confirmation, and developers will be eligible to declare the security badge on their data safety form,” Google states.

“On average, the process takes around 2-3 weeks from initial assessment to badge availability.”

Nevertheless, Google stressed that users may determine whether a “developer has prioritized security and privacy practices and committed to user safety” by using the independent security testing procedure.

It did point out that validation of an app does not guarantee that it is secure; it is only certified to baseline security standards.


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