Android P promises to stop apps from listening to you through your phone

We posted back in January about the scandal that broke regarding some apps in the Google Play Store which were using users’ microphones to listen to their conversations without clear consent. It looks like Google has heard the complaints about the issue, and made a move to remedy the situation. The next version of the company’s mobile OS, Android P, will include new privacy protections that prevent apps from using a phone’s camera and microphone in the background.

According to ZD Net, the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) said in a developers note for the OS that “once an app has run in the background for a certain amount of time, it should not be able to use the camera.” The same goes for the microphone, of course. The policy notes for Android P say that if an app is in “idle state we don’t allow recording to protect user’s privacy.”

If you’re updating your device to use Android P, this should give you some comfort that the apps you’ve installed will not be spying on you while running in the background. Only when the app is in active use will it be enabled with microphone and camera functionality.

Source: zdnet.com – Android P will stop apps from silently using your phone’s camera and mic
Published: February 22, 2018