Google has already started working on Android P and it will be revealed at Google’s I/O conference later this year. We do not have much information to share but we just saw a report that claims improved privacy options in Android P.
As spotted by XDA Developers, Android will add a rule to prevent background apps from accessing the camera of the device. It will be applied to apps’ User IDs (UID) that are unique identifiers or each app when it is installed. If the UID becomes idle, it will not have access to camera of the phone or microphone.
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Technically, any application that you might have granted access to camera or microphone can run in background and record anything. Back in 2014, Android developer Szymon Sidor demonstrated how an app can take photos and record videos by cleverly manipulating Android’s camera permissions. Similar thing is applicable with microphone misuses.
In Android Oreo, Google limited the misuse by background apps by giving priority to forground apps while resource allocation. But Google is working to block it completely in Android P. This change will also affect anti-theft app that uses camera to capture photos while running in background. So, I guess there will be an option for users to allow camera access to certain apps.
This really matters because Facebook has been accused of listening to our conversations secretly several times. It was also reported that the Facebook uses webcam to record its user. We also recommended to cover web cam when not in use. With the noted changes in Android P, Facebook or any other app cannot record our video or audio while in background. So, less possibility of snooping.