In order to protect old Android phones from malware and malicious ad trackers, Google will reportedly be bringing a privacy protection feature to all old Android phones. With the release of Android 11, Google had introduced auto-resetting permissions. What this feature does is it prevents an app from accessing storage, mic, cameras and other sensitive features if the app hasn't been used for months.
In Android 11, you are required to provide access to your data to an app if it hasn't been opened for a period of time. This prevents apps from collecting data in the background. Google will be bringing this same feature in old Android phones so that the app doesn't get access to data from old Android phones lying unused.
All Android phones running Android 6 and above will automatically get this privacy protection feature and Google estimates that this will protect billions of Android phones.
As per a report by The Verge, Google will release this feature in December to all Android devices running on old Android versions between 6 and 10 that come with Google Play Services . According to Google, the feature "will automatically be enabled on devices with Google Play services that are running Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher."
Having said that, users of old Android phones need to enable the feature manually and certain apps may request users to turn off this feature in case it needs to run in the background.
Ideally, if you have any old Android phone that is left unused, you should remove your Google accounts and factory reset the phone to prevent apps or someone else from getting access to your personal data that is saved in old phones.
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