A new update accompanied by an email from Google reveals that its Play Protect program will now automatically remove unused permissions from Android applications that you haven’t used in a while. Until now, you’d have to manually visit each app and its permissions to toggle off the camera, microphone, storage, contacts, and phone that the developer could access on your device so that you would have the full experience they intended.
This new automation now works on Android 10 and below. It previously only worked on Android 11, but it’s expanding its availability to protect older devices, which is a welcome change! Not only can you manually choose apps that retain their permission access and are not automatically purged by Play Protect, but you can also get notified when a reset occurs.
Additionally, developers can mark their app as protected from, well, Play Protect. Any dev who does this will be excluded from the auto permission reset feature, and even if you don’t access it for a long time, the permissions you gave it upon installation will remain active. Some apps require constant access to things as their primary function is to run in the background instead of being opened and browsed, so it’s good that this is an option, but I just hope it’s not abused.
If you would like to check for yourself which apps and games have which permissions activated, and perhaps even to clean them up as not all of them may be required or necessary, you can open the Google Play Store and tap your profile image at the top right. Then, tap “Play Protect” and then touch the “Removing permissions for unused apps” section.