This Monday, one of the managers of Android was able to explain to us where the new unique permissions for Android 11 came from. A system already popular with users for geolocation on Android 10.
This Monday we had the opportunity to speak with Sameer Samat, vice president of Android at Google. The opportunity to discuss with him the new features to come on Android 11, especially in terms of privacy.
It must be said that the confidentiality of personal data is one of the major axes that Google plans to strengthen with Android 11. As we saw with the Developer Preview 1 available since last week, Google intends to give even more controls to Android users by allowing them to better control the data that applications will be able to collect.
(Embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETUodA6inPk (/ embed)
This essentially results in a new type of permissions requested by applications. So, when an application needs to access your geolocation, your camera or your microphone, you will now have the choice between four possibilities: you can refuse it, accept it all the time, accept it only when the application is open, or accept it only for this time.
Authorizations already popular on Android 10
This last option is new for Android 11. According to Sameer Samat, it comes from the fact that users particularly appreciated – and used – the authorizations already launched with Android 10 last year: “This is an extension of the authorization for geolocation of Android 10. We realized that one in two users said that they only accept use when the application is open”. Therefore, the fact that users did not accept the geolocation of applications by default pushed Google to go further in this management of permissions.
We tried to highlight the most important authorizations
For Google, there is still a risk: the fact that all the authorization requests are too intrusive, which could break fluidity and interactions with the smartphone. “One of the necessities was to be sure that the users understood what they were doing and that it was really useful for them. With the risk that they press accept each time. So we tried to highlight the most important ones ”. For Google, this means keeping requests for geolocation authorizations, but also extending it to two particularly important accesses for privacy: “So we added this unique permission not only for geolocation, but also for the microphone and the camera. The goal was to minimize the questions that the user had to answer to those that were really necessary “.
In addition, in addition to these new features integrated into Android 11, Google has also revised the Play Store regulations for developers. From now on, application designers will have to be much clearer about the reasons they have for requesting access to such and such personal data. Two measures that should reassure on the protection of privacy, when the main competitor of Android, iOS, has made it one of its workhorses in recent years.
It remains to be seen whether these changes introduced in Android 11 will be enough to reassure users, while Google is not particularly known for its respect for the privacy of users. With these novelties, we feel that the firm intends to redeem itself an image … hoping that these novelties are enough to satisfy the general public.