Google rolls out new privacy features

Google announced new privacy features for its Android phone operating system Tuesday that will give users more control over their data but stop short of Apple’s more aggressive options.

The new features unveiled at Google’s annual I/O developer conference include visual cues that indicate when cameras or microphones are being used, the option to give apps access to approximate rather than precise location and a privacy dashboard.

“Android 12 is our most ambitious privacy release to date,” the company said on its blog. “Along the way, we have engaged closely with our developer community to build a platform that puts privacy at the forefront while taking into consideration the impact on developers.”

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The announcement of new features follows Apple’s rollout of its iOS 14 system in February.

That update forces apps to get permission from users to track them across other apps for advertising purposes.

Google could still adopt similar measures down the line, especially given that the company has made inroads toward limiting ad tracking on searches.