Google is working on a new Android P feature that will prevent background apps from accessing the device’s camera and microphone without the knowledge. An Android Open Source Commit (APSC) has been spotted by XDA-Developers that shows that Android P could stop idle apps in the background from using the camera and microphone. This is the first time Google is actively looking to protect users’ privacy from idle apps.
The method will be implemented by tracking the app’s User IDs (UID) that are assigned to each application, when it is installed on the device. When the camera in Android P detects that a UID is “idle”, it will generate an error and prevent access to the camera. If the inactive UID makes subsequent requests an error will immediately generate thus not allowing it to tap into the camera. Plus, Android P will also block apps in “idle” state from accessing the microphone.
Just to recall, Android’s Doze function restricts background app’s access to network and CPU-intensive services. Last year, Google introduced a ton of new security features with Android 8.0 Oreo designed to prevent unauthorized access to apps.
Android P – the next version of Android – will be made official at I/O 2018. According to a report from Bloomberg, Google plans to revamp the OS from scratch. Evidently, Android P will bring a better Google Assistant and support for iPhone X-like features to Android phones. This year’s Google I/O developer conference will take place from May 8 to May 10 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California
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