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[Slashdot] - Android 11 Will Help You Rein In Zombie App Permissions

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With 2.5 billion users worldwide, Google has a responsibility to make its Android operating system as secure as possible. But the company has at times struggled to adequately vet apps in the Google Play Store, allowing malicious programs through that thousands or millions of users go on to download. With Google's release of the Android 11 Beta on Wednesday, though, the company is taking steps to make it even more difficult for rogue apps to grab your data even when they do slip by. From a report: Google has worked for years to incrementally tighten Android security under the hood. And the release of Android 11 is particularly focused on expanding privacy improvements to give you more control over what your apps can access and giving more ways to distribute software updates across Android's fragmented and disjointed device population. Android 10 addressed some of this as well, requiring that app developers request permissions and then reaffirm user choices more often. Android 11 adds a feature that allows developer to request one-time permissions for things like the microphone, camera, or location as an alternative to all or nothing. You can share your location with a friend through a chat app once, for example, without granting indefinite location access, or having to remember to wade back into settings to revoke the permission later. "We can see that people are actually leveraging these features from Android 10 and thinking about their choices when they're giving apps access to permissions," says Charmaine D'Silva, an Android product manager who works on privacy. "So building on that this time we've added even more controls." Android 11 will also rein in apps that you don't use very often, automatically revoking permissions if you don't open it for a still undetermined period of time. If you start using the app again you can always reinstate its access, but the permission won't be lurking forgotten. Google plans to experiment with different cutoffs after 60-90 days, with the goal of eliminating stray permissions without breaking functionality.

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