App Defense Alliance (ADA) introduced MASA (Mobile App Security Assessment), which allows developers to have their apps independently validated against a global security standard.This signals to users that an independent third party has validated that the developers designed their apps to meet these industry mobile security and privacy minimum best practices and the developers are going the extra mile to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities.
“To help give users a simplified view of which apps have undergone an independent security validation, we’re introducing a new Google Play store banner for specific app types, starting with VPN apps,” said Stanetsky in a blog post.
Why Google is starting with VPN apps
The Google executive said that the company launched this banner beginning with VPN apps due to the sensitive and significant amount of user data these apps handle. “When a user searches for VPN apps, they will now see a banner at the top of Google Play that educates them about the “Independent security review” badge in the Data Safety Section,” she added. Furthermore, users can also discover additional technical assessment details in the App Validation Directory, helping them to make more informed decisions about what VPN apps to download, use, and trust with their data. VPN providers such as NordVPN, Google One, ExpressVPN, and others have already undergone independent security testing and publicly declared the badge. “We encourage and anticipate additional VPN app developers to undergo independent security testing, bringing even more transparency to users,” Stanetsky added.