Android 12 Beta 2 brings new privacy features: Privacy Dashboard, mic and camera toggles, and more

Android 12 Beta 2 version has come with plenty of privacy features that provide convenience to users and give them more control over their personal data. The issue of unauthorized use of personal data by the mobile apps that came to fore with Apple’s ATT framework has been on Google’s agenda for a while, and the new beta version includes features that support this.

The biggest edition coming to Android 12 Beta 2, in this matter, is Privacy Dashboard, which gives Android users better visibility over the data the mobile apps are accessing. 

The new Privacy Dashboard feature provides a single clear timeline view of your app accesses to microphone, location, and camera in the last 24 hours, as well as what sensitive data is accessed by any app. 

Google said it also added microphone and camera indicators to the status bar to allow users to know when an app is using the device camera or mic. Users will be able to see which apps are accessing their mic and camera data and to manage permissions via Quick Settings. 

Android 12 Beta 2 also displays a toast at the bottom of the screen when an app reads from the clipboard. 

With Android 12 Beta 2, Google also has added microphone and camera toggles that allows users to quickly disable app access to the microphone and camera. When the toggles are turned off, an app accessing these sensors will receive blank camera and audio feeds, and the system handles notifying the user to enable access to use the app’s features.The microphone and camera controls apply to all apps regardless of their platform targeting, Google says

Android 12 includes the biggest design change in Android history. Google also made important changes in performance, as well as privacy and security. 

Last week, Google sent an update to Android developers saying that it will remove advertising ID when a user opts out of ad personalization, starting late 2021. 

Google is under pressure from privacy advocates and regulators to collect less information about its users. Last week, unredacted documents in Arizona’s lawsuit against Google revealed the company’s efforts to prevent users from keeping their location information private and that the Google employees were well aware of it. 

In early May, Google pre-announced the ‘safety section’ in Google Play that will allow Android users see what sort of personal data an app collects and shares.

Starting the second quarter of 2022, new app submissions and app updates must include the information of “what type of data is collected and stored and how the data is used.” 

Written by Maya Robertson

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