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Google: New Privacy Feature Will Affect 'Billions' of Android Devices

Starting in December, Google will expand its "permissions auto-reset feature" to devices using Android 6.0 and higher.

Android phones running older versions of the operating system will soon have a feature that removes permissions for apps that haven't been used for a long period of time, Google reports.

"Permissions auto-reset" is a privacy feature Google introduced to Android 11 last year. It aims to protect users' privacy by automatically resetting an app's runtime permissions — those requested as needed when the app is running — if that app hasn't been used for a few months.

Starting in December, Google will bring the feature to "billions more devices" as it's automatically enabled on those with Google Play services that run Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher. Users will be able to access the auto-reset settings page and enable or disable auto-reset for specific apps. The system will start to automatically reset permissions of unused apps a few weeks after the feature launches on a device, according to Android officials.

They note that some apps and permissions are automatically exempt from revocation. These include active Device Administrator apps used by enterprises, as well as permissions fixed by enterprise policy.

Read the full Android developer blog post for more details.

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