Google’s latest attempt to play back on privacy features in Apple’s iOS was back on display Tuesday, when the company announced the details of its Android 12 operating system.
Google is in the middle of its annual year I / O Developer Conference, where it announces advancements in its Android, Assistant, Chrome, Search, and occasionally its hardware offerings. Some of these ads include new privacy features on Android, features that would be more exciting if they weren’t so familiar: Most of what Google brings to Android devices are things that are already on iOS devices, and you have to wonder if Google will do it all if Apple hadn’t done them before.
However, Google presents its new privacy features as a step it has taken to please its consumers.
“Android 12 is our most ambitious privacy version to date,” the company said he said on his blog. “Along the way, we are working closely with our developer community to build a platform that puts privacy at the forefront while taking into account the impact on developers.”
So, what do Android users get that iPhone users already have?
- The phones had visual indicators when the cameras or microphones were used. Those are nice if you’re paranoid that apps are watching or listening to you when you’re not aware of them, even if it’s useless if you’re so paranoid that you won’t believe the indicators in the first place.
- Android will tell users when apps are using information from their clipboards. That is, when you copy something (for example, your password from a password manager app) and then paste it into something else (like the app that asks for your password), Android will tell you that your clipboard is accessible. That might seem like a minor thing, but apps that have secret access to users ’clipboards and users that don’t have the ability to limit clipboard permissions have been a security issue. for a while, especially considering the sensitive information that people might have about them (such as passwords).
- Android also gives users the option to give applications access to their devices approximate situation. Previously, apps only had their exact location, even if the app didn’t need specific information to function. Accurate location data is ideal for apps like Uber when you want to tell your driver exactly where you are and where you want to go, but location data companies have been caught taking advantage of it and also selling it to military entrepreneurs.
One nice thing that Android 12 will have that iOS doesn’t have: a privacy panel that tells users which apps have access to which permissions and when. According to Google’s templates, users can see a list of apps that have used things like their location data, camera and microphone. Apple’s iOS does this to some extent (you can see which apps have been using your location services in the last 24 hours), but not for all permissions, and it’s not as simple and clean as it sounds. and Android.
But what is perhaps most notable is that the privacy features of iOS 14 Android 12 will not. These include the so-called “nutrition labels for privacy,” which they are dubious value to consumers, but also indicate that it is important for society to be informed, and the ability to reject applications the ability to track users. through other apps through its Transparency Tracking App.
That Android could come up with privacy labels for it is still there very much a possibility on the road. The anti-tracking technology that Apple has developed represents a major step toward the privacy that Google has apparently considering but that would also put a dent in its business model, which uses data collected from users in its numerous trackers on websites, services, and apps to sell targeted ads. Apple doesn’t have the same business model, so it can take the lead without worrying about its bottom line. And she guasgi always do.
It’s important to keep in mind that Android is a much more popular mobile operating system, globally, than iOS. It powers most of the world’s smartphones, including very good models for people who could never in their wildest dreams afford an iPhone. So choosing an operating system based on its privacy features is not an option for many people. Assuming that Android 12 is available on their devices, it means that more people will finally have access to privacy measures that they didn’t have before. Just wait for Apple to do it first.