Google will reset old app permissions for devices running Android 6 and up


When Android 11 launched last year, it came with a feature that reset the permissions of apps that weren’t used for a few months. Now, Google has announced it is bringing this feature to billions of older devices, running Android 6.0 and up. The change is expected to ship out in December this year to devices running Google Play services and Android 6.0 or newer.

The feature helps to improve the privacy and security of a user’s device. After a few months, your phone’s OS will reset the permissions of unused apps so when the app needs permission to access things like device storage, the camera or the microphone, you’ll be prompted to grant them again.

So you’ll get a heads up if, say, an old app is compromised on the Play Store and issues your device with a malware update that tries to access your camera to spy on you or your banking details. It’s unlikely, but not impossible. This update makes it that much harder.

Good guy Google has our backs from privacy peepers

This does not apply to all apps, as Google pointed out in a blog post. “Some apps and permissions are automatically exempted from revocation, like active Device Administrator apps used by enterprises, and permissions fixed by enterprise policy.”

This isn’t the first of the privacy-focused updates from Google this year.  In July, the company announced that it will not allow users to sign in with their Google accounts on devices running Android 2.3.7, starting from 27 September.


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I've been interested in tech for as long as I can remember. A few facts about me; I learnt how to code when I was 5, I helped Mark Shuttleworth develop Ubuntu when I was 9 and now I write for a tech publication. Only one of those facts is true. I also have a drama degree, hence the writing.

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