Google is going to let older Android phones disable app permissions when not in use for a long time

In 2020, Google introduced a new feature applicable to the Android 11 that stated that applications that haven't been used in some time will have their permissions revoked. With the surge in awareness and concerns related to privacy, it was indeed a necessary feature. Now Google will allow this auto-reset to apply to older phones as well so that they can be 'cleaned' too.

Previously, only Android 11, 12, and newer versions were able to create a clean slate by removing all permissions from apps that haven't been used for a while. The incentive was to reduce any company's access to personal information. It was also to give users another chance to reevaluate the permissions asked by various apps.

Of course, there is a period after which only this feature would be applicable, which is 3 months. If you continue to abandon an app for 90 days, all the permissions will be revoked and you'll have to go through that process again. But don't worry if you find this to be tiresome as it barely takes more than 2 minutes to fill it out.

Now Android is allowing not only Android 10 but Android 6.0 Marshmallow to also access this auto-reset or hibernate feature. Although the rollout will only affect apps targeting API level 30 and above and will avoid older versions targeting API levels 23-29, it can still be enabled manually in these devices. Apps used by enterprises and enterprise policies, however, will be exempted from the process due to obligatory reasons and permissions being fixed. Developers can also ask users to prevent the system from removing their permissions but we predict that will be a lot of work.

While the process will be in action next month, for now only a guidance procedure was published. Next month, Google will make some cross-platform API changes. This feature for sure will start rolling out in December and will be fully available in the first half of 2022. Once set out, Google will start sending users a new auto setting page to decide the fate of applications and a week or a few after that, Google will reset all permissions.

The new feature will be available to billions for now and hopefully, Apple will follow the lead and launch a similar security system if it hasn't been working on one already.

Read next: An Extra Step Towards Privacy And Transparency By Google Play Services
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