Android has been a very open operating system for quite some time. This gives users deep access to the device, resulting in somewhat weaker security than what you would find on Apple devices. However, Android 12 aims to change that.
Android 12 comes with a feature called Privacy Dashboard. It gives users more control over their privacy by providing a detailed overview of all apps that might have requested GPS, microphone or camera access during a specific period of time. This makes it easy to find suspicious apps and revoke their access to the sensor to prevent them from tracking you.
That said, although this feature, like many others, is only available on Android 12, there is still a way to enable it on your older Android smartphone. Here’s how to authorize it:
Step 1: Download the Privacy Dashboard app
First, we are going to download a free app from the play store that has the same name as shown below:
- Open Google Play Store and search for privacy dashboard. Now tap on the first search result.
- Now tap on install to download the app and install it on your Android smartphone.
- Once installed, tap on open to open the app and then refer to Step 2 mentioned below in the next segment.
Step 2: Set up the privacy dashboard app on your Android phone
Now that you’ve installed the open-source Privacy Dashboard app on your Android smartphone, here’s how to set it up:
- When you first open the new app, you’ll be greeted with a screen that looks like the first image. Tap allow access to grant access to the privacy dashboard location.
- After giving location access to the privacy dashboard, tap Open settings to enable it in accessibility settings.
- In the settings page that appears, find the option that says Privacy Dashboard and tap on it. Now look for the Use Privacy Dashboard toggle and enable it,
Step 3: Using the Privacy Dashboard app on your Android phone
Once you have completed the steps listed above, you will see a circular donut chart on the home page representing camera, microphone, and location usage over the past 24 hours.
You can tap on the Location, Camera, or Microphone options below the graph to view the respective timelines and usage history. Suppose you find a suspicious app tracking you via GPS or listening to your conversations via the microphone. In this case, you can revoke its access by pressing the manage permissions button, which is present just below the timeline.
Finally, you can go to the app’s Settings page to enable privacy flags. It works like the privacy indicators found on any Android 12 device, giving you a little green indicator whenever an app is accessing your phone’s GPS, camera, or microphone.