The new operating system for Android smartphones will let us know if an app is using microphone or camera every time we use it
The operating system Android 12 by Google is spreading on more and more devices: after opening to the new Pixels, now also some Samsung Galaxy, OnePlus, OPPO and RealMe models have access to this new operating system. Among the most important innovations of the Google system, updates on the subject of privacy, which will allow users to limit Google’s access to personal information but also to data recorded by the device’s microphone and camera.
We are not yet at the levels of protection adopted by the Apple IOS system, which make iPhones very safe tools from the point of view of privacy and data protection, but Google is also making important progress in this regard. The first innovation is undoubtedly the new platform dedicated to the management of privacy Privacy Dashboard – accessible through the Settings menu.
The new “Privacy Dashboard” will allow the user to see which applications have access to personal data (@ Android)
In addition to this, the user can easily control the apps that have access to the device’s camera and microphone every time they are used. In fact, we often give our consent to the use of data from microphone and camera lightly, when we install an application, and then we forget that we have authorized a certain use of our personal data. With this novelty of Android 12, however, every time we open a certain application we will be reminded, through a green icon at the top right of our screen, that the app is authorized to use our device’s camera or microphone (or both). But not only that: by dragging down the drop-down menu generated by this small icon, we can also choose to temporarily suspend our consent to the use of personal data – if we want our suspension to become definitive, we must instead block unwanted permissions through the panel of Settings of the app. (Read also: How to disable app microphones to protect our privacy (and not be flooded with personalized advertisements))
Here are the new icons that will notify users of the consents we have given to the app in use (@ Android)
Other limitations concern the exchange of information between our device and the Google search engine – such as, for example, the history of searches or videos viewed on YouTube, the activities carried out, the places visited, geo-location: access all these data may be partially limited or completely inhibited to the search engine, which will thus have less information to “shape” its proposals (advertising and otherwise) tailored for us.
Finally, with the new Android 12 it will be possible no longer to give your consent to the tracking of your profile to receive targeted advertisements and ads. We know that every Android smartphone has an ID code that Google uses to identify a specific advertising profile, born from the sum of the owner’s searches, purchases and usage habits. If we no longer want to allow Google to “spy” on our habits and preferences for advertising purposes, we can replace our ID sequence with a series of zeros: in this way the device will be unrecognizable.
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