Android P: Google plans big to guard your Privacy!

In Short: Android P, which is expected to be soon with a new feature that can act as a guard to prevent the idle apps running in the background from accessing your device’s camera and microphone.

Do you own a smartphone? Then your device is potential to risks. It doesn’t matter that even though you own an iOS or Android or whatsoever, still, your device can be compromised. The hackers can access the camera and microphone which may let them to covertly snap pictures, record videos, and even record voice through your microphone.

Also read this article on iPhone’s camera access and Android’s tizi spying app.

Android P’s Privacy feature

It is not likely to cover camera of your phone all the time. There should be some proper features either set on the device’s hardware or software to prevent sneak-in without your consent. In this case, Google’s next version of its Android which is not named yet is set to come with a new feature that can block idle running apps in the background from accessing on your camera.

Firstly put an end to spying camera!

The xdadevelopers revealed about the Android P’s new feature on their blog last week.

The new feature that works in a way having UIDs (User IDs) that every apps’ possess which is unique. They would certainly be unchanged until the app remains installed on your phone.

It is likely, that every time if the UserID of any idle app running in the background accesses the camera service, will pop up an error and closes the camera. Furthermore, requests from the apps are set to generate the error instantly.

 

“In Android P, when the camera service detects that a UID is “idle”—that is to say, when the device is in the idle Doze state and background apps’ access to CPU and network-intensive services is restricted—Android will generate an error and close access to the camera. Subsequent camera requests from the inactive UID will immediately generate an error.” xdadevelopers wrote on their blog post.

That is if you are not running an app, and it tries to access your camera, then your phone will display an error message. This one feature likely to bring back your privacy back under your control.

Now, the microphone is under your control!

Even a malicious app with record audio permission can tape audios without your consent. So to end it, this software upgrade would probably be a key to your privacy, which you can gain after the release of Android’s P.

“When an app, identified by its UID enters an idle state, Android’s audio system won’t allow it to record audio. Instead of writing data from the microphone to a file, it’ll report empty data (a string of zeros in the byte array). Once the app becomes active again (i.e., exits Doze mode), it’ll start recording real data.” xdadevelopers wrote on their blog post.

In simple words, The device’s microphone will now automatically stop recording audio when an app runs in the background. This feature switches to recording audio only if the app becomes active.

So far the official release date of Android P is not announced yet, and probably after these upgrades, there would be a complete test for coders to break in.

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