Google Play, the official app store for Android, has introduced an ‘independent security reviews’ badge for VPN apps that have undergone an independent security audit, following the Mobile App Security Assessment (MASA) standards.
Furthermore, this initiative, driven by the App Defense Alliance (ADA), defines specific requirements for mobile app security. The badge will enhance transparency and user trust by indicating that VPN apps comply with the MASA standard. VPN providers, including NordVPN, Google One, and ExpressVPN, have already incorporated this security audit and display the Google Play badge. More VPN apps are expected to join this initiative, promoting transparency and security for users.
VPN apps are particularly crucial for user privacy and security as they handle sensitive data and help maintain anonymity while browsing the web. Many VPN providers claim not to keep logs or expose users’ actual IP addresses, but third-party audits are essential to verify these claims and identify potential security vulnerabilities.
To receive the Google Play ‘Independent security review’ badge, VPN vendors must perform the MASA audit through an approved cybersecurity partner. This initiative is expected to improve transparency in the VPN app market on Google Play, ensuring users can trust the security of these applications.
Several VPN apps have already obtained a valid MASA certificate, including Aloha Browser + Private VPN, Private Internet Access VPN, SkyVPN – Fast Secure VPN, Tomato VPN, and vpnify – Unlimited VPN Proxy. The ‘Independent security review’ program is likely to expand beyond VPNs in the future, although Google has not specified a timeline for such expansion.
Google is encouraging VPN developers and publishers to participate in this movement, furthering the security and transparency of mobile apps on the platform. The introduction of security badges for apps can help users make more informed decisions when choosing VPN services.