October 27, 2021

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Android devices from version 6.0 will soon reset permissions for unused apps

Android devices running at least version 6.0 will have the option to automatically remove their permissions from apps that have not been used for a long time. This is a feature that was only a first for Android 11.

Google suggests That every Android device with Google Play Services and Android 6.0 or API Level 23 or higher will receive the functionality soon. The feature is enabled by default for apps running API level 30 or higher, which indicates that the feature will not be enabled by itself on phones with a lower API level. Users will have to toggle this button themselves. Google also reported that apps can ask the user to create an exception for that app, for example if it requires permissions, but doesn’t actually need to be opened for it to work.

Feature for privacy and security. Permissions pose a certain risk to the user; For example, accessing your phone’s storage means that an app that has nothing to do with your photos can still read and write to the dcim folder. In addition, permissions can give an app the opportunity to exploit a vulnerability in the system. This may not be a concern at the time of installation, but malware can also infiltrate an application later via an update.

In the blog post, Google also explains how the change will affect developers and what code is needed to handle the new conditions. Since the update works via Google Play Services, phone manufacturers are not involved in the “publishing” and it doesn’t matter if the phone is still getting system updates or not. Thus, the job will be given “billions” of devices. Google isn’t reporting exactly how long it takes for an app to lose its permissions, but there is talk of a “months” period.

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