Google on Friday said it’s bringing an Android 11 feature that auto-resets permissions granted to apps that haven’t been used in months, to devices running Android versions 6 and above.
The expansion is expected to go live later this year in December 2021 and enabled on Android phones with Google Play services running Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher, which the company said should cover “billions more devices.” Google officially released Android 6.0 Marshmallow on October 5, 2015.
With Android 11 that came out last year, the internet giant introduced a permission auto-reset option that helps improve user privacy by automatically resetting an app’s permissions to access sensitive features like storage or camera if the app in question is left unopened for a few months.
“Some apps and permissions are automatically exempted from revocation, like active Device Administrator apps used by enterprises, and permissions fixed by enterprise policy,” Google noted. While permission auto-reset will be turned on by default for apps targeting Android 11 (API level 30) or higher, the new feature has to be enabled manually for apps targeting API levels 23 to 29.
The rollout is slated to be complete by sometime in Q1 2022.
The changes are part of a number of user-facing privacy and security features that Google has pushed out in recent months. The Mountain View-based company, in late July, said it intends to disallow users from signing in to their Google accounts from Android devices running versions 2.3.7 or lower starting September 27, 2021.
Earlier this year, Google announced plans to add iOS-style privacy labels to app listings on the Play Store that highlight the various types of data being collected and how it’s used, in addition to limiting apps, with the exception of a few, from accessing the list of installed apps on Android devices. In June 2021, Google also moved to strip users’ advertising IDs when opting out of ads personalization in Android Settings as part of a Google Play services update.