Android 12 will add privacy indicators and anti-tracking features to protect user privacy

According to the XDA reported that the first developer preview version of Android 12 may be released in the near future. At the same time, a batch of leaked screenshots shows that Android 12 will be greatly improved in system security.

According to the leaked screenshots, Android 12 has added a privacy indicator feature. When the application uses the camera or microphone, the user may receive a warning in the status bar indicator. Clicking on the indicator icon on the status bar will pop up a pop-up window at the top of the screen, telling the user which applications are using the camera or microphone.

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Leaked development documents show that these indicators must be displayed at the top of the screen in bright colors, and in any case, as long as the camera or microphone is accessed, they will be displayed.

Google has been testing privacy protection features two years ago and will launch this feature on Android 12. At the same time, the “privacy” setting in the Android system will also be improved in Android 12. The new privacy settings may include disabling the camera, turning off the location function, and completely muting the microphone.

The user can use the “Sensor Off” function to disable all sensors on the user’s device, but this feature is only available for systems with the “Developer Options” enabled. In addition, the “sensor shutdown” function can be deployed in the drop-down menu bar, allowing users to turn off various sensors on the phone more quickly.

Google will also build anti-tracking features in Android 12. Although this feature was not disclosed in this leak, Google has clearly stated its intention to develop a “less strict” application tracking transparency feature. Compared with Apple’s strict privacy protection system and anti-tracking features, Google seeks an ecological environment that can balance user privacy and the interests of advertisers.

Therefore, the anti-tracking feature of Android 12 will not be very strict. It is possible that developers can track part of the user’s data even without the user’s permission.

Google’s approach to Android 12 may be similar to Chrome’s security plan. Google previously announced that it will phase out third-party cookies in Chrome within two years.

Instead, the Chrome browser will use an alternative method that allows some less specific data-collection behaviors. For example, advertisers will be able to target people with similar interests, but not individuals.

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