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Android P can ban background apps from recording audio

By Jules Wang February 20, 2018, 8:25 pm

We’re more conscious of what’s recording us all the time now more than ever. It’s come into our homes in the form of smart speakers and it really does help that these far field microphones can hear what we’re saying from across a couple of rooms. Are they recording us? Depends on who’s making the smart speaker.

When it comes to apps, though, many don’t realize that there are hundreds, if not thousands of apps that listen to what users are watching while relegated to the background and then using that data to deliver ads in the apps. And while users can inspect the app’s permissions and revoke its microphone access, it’s quite the tedious task.

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Well, a new commit to AOSP picked up by XDA-Developers might indicate a new Android P feature that would essentially zero out any data such an app would collect through background audio recording. The system would only allow the device to access real microphone data while in an active state.

Of all the issues in privacy that we have to be concerned with, this could be a pivotal one as we head into the age of artificial intelligence.

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