Android 12 privacy settings you need to update now – .

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Android 12 privacy settings you need to update now – .


Google released the first public release of its Android 12 operating system around the end of October, but not for everyone. It was first rolled out to Pixel phones made by Google and is gradually being found on handsets from other manufacturers. Samsung is now making it available for its flagship Galaxy phones, with products like OnePlus, Oppo, and Realme expected to follow in the coming weeks.

The new features in Android 12 aren’t the most important update, but Google has included a lot of privacy and security additions. They don’t go as far as the latest iPhone privacy settings to lock down your data, but they’re still worth digging into.

Some of the new Android updates, such as hibernating apps you haven’t used for a long time and reducing location data accuracy, will work under the hood. But other changes are worth the five minutes it takes to verify them. While you update your phone, you should also make sure that the rest of your privacy settings are locked. Google is a business built on personal data and targeted advertising, after all.

Use the privacy dashboard

Most of the biggest privacy tweaks in Android 12 are based on the permissions you give to apps on your phone. When you install apps, they may request access to your camera, contacts, files, location, microphone, and several other sensors and data sets stored on your device.

Some of these permissions are crucial for apps to work. But not all apps need permission to access every type of data. For example, while an AR app probably needs access to your camera to function properly, a calendar app might not.

Android 12 introduces a new privacy dashboard to help increase permission transparency. This shows which apps have accessed your phone’s sensors in the past 24 hours and allows you to deny them further access. It’s an easy way to see which apps are doing what on your phone.

You can find the dashboard by going to Settings> Privacy then opening Privacy dashboard (similarly, you can just search for it in Settings). Tap on calendar permission, for example, and you’ll see which apps are allowed to access your calendar data and which aren’t. By tapping on each app individually, you can change the settings. There is also a schedule for using permissions. Open location permissions, for example, and you can see a minute-by-minute breakdown of the app you’ve accessed where you are.

Check access to microphone and camera

For years, there have been rumors that Facebook is using your phone’s microphone to listen to what you are saying. This is not true, even though Facebook follows you in several ways. One of Android 12’s new privacy settings further dispels the eavesdropping myth.

When an Android app uses your phone’s microphone or camera, a small green dot will appear in the top menu bar, similar to a feature Apple added in last year’s iOS version 14. Swiping down from the top corner of the screen opens the Quick settings menu, where you can instantly disable access to the app’s camera and microphone. Although this block is temporary, you can enter the permissions of the individual app from here and make the change permanent.

Remove your advertising ID

Your phone has its own Advertising ID that allows apps to link data to your device, creating a profile of you and your interests, so that it can then show you personalized ads based on that information. While it has been possible to turn off this ad personalization on Android for some time, the changes to Android 12 make a subtle difference.

You can now change your settings to reset the string of digits identifying you to a series of zeros and prevent others from linking information to your device in this way. (While the change isn’t specifically part of Android 12, it’s first rolling out to devices running the operating system). To make the change, go to Settings> Privacy, scroll to Ads, then press Remove Advertising ID. It won’t mean that you won’t see ads on your phone anymore, just that the ads won’t be based on your behavior and personal data.

Cover the basics of Android privacy

While most of Android 12’s new privacy settings focus on permissions, there are plenty of options out there that can help protect your data and accounts.

You can find the majority of Android’s privacy options in the Settings app on your phone or tablet, by navigating to the Privacy menu. From there you’ll find simple toggles to enable or disable access to your camera and microphone for all apps; briefly display your passwords as you type them in the fields; deactivate applications that use your data to customize Android settings; and turn off app access to what’s on your clipboard.

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