Smartphone users are increasingly concerned about their privacy. When it comes to stronger privacy features, Apple has been leading this, but Google is improving Android as well. The “Privacy Dashboard” function lays it all out for you.
The Privacy Dashboard is a feature that debuted with Android 12. Google put a lot of attention on privacy in this release, along with a few other things, and the Privacy Dashboard is the focal destination for a lot of it.
Note: Privacy Dashboard is available in beta at the time of this writing. Before the public release in the fall of 2021, screenshots and features are subject to change.
What Does the Android Privacy Dashboard Do?
The Privacy Dashboard is, as its name suggests, a dashboard for all things privacy-related on your Android device. It’s a summary of which apps use specific permissions and how frequently.
There are two different sectors to the Privacy Dashboard, which may be found under the Settings menu. Let’s start with the top-of-the-screen circle chart. This graph shows which permissions have been utilized the most in the last 24 hours in a quick and straightforward way.
The word “location” was used the most, followed by “Camera” and “Microphone.” This chart corresponds to the permissions listed in the section below, so if you expand to “See Other Permissions,” you’ll see them in the chart as well.
What exactly are we talking about when we say “permissions”? All of the permissions that can be tracked in the Privacy Dashboard are listed below:
- Body Sensors
- Call Logs
- Files and Media
- Nearby Devices
- Physical Activity
The permissions are listed in the list form underneath the chart. The number of apps that have utilized each permission in the last 24 hours is labeled next to it. To see a quick timeline of that 24-hour period of permission, select that permission.
The “Manage Permission” button opens a menu where you may change how each app can use that permission independently. All of this gives you a lot of insight and control over how your device’s sensors are used.
Where to Find the Privacy Dashboard
As previously stated, Android 12 introduced the Privacy Dashboard. To find the feature, you’ll need an Android 12 or higher phone or tablet.
To access the Quick Settings menu, swipe down twice from the top of the screen, then hit the gear icon.
In the Settings, pull down to the “Privacy” section.
Then, choose “Privacy Dashboard.”
That concludes our discussion. The Privacy Dashboard is what you’re looking at right now.
Will My Phone Get the Privacy Dashboard?
When new Android features are introduced, consumers naturally want to know if they will be available on their devices. At the time of writing, we don’t know exactly which devices will be receiving the Privacy Dashboard. We can, however, glean information from previous features.
The Privacy Dashboard and the Digital Wellbeing app for Android are the same. Digital Wellbeing was introduced with Android Pie in 2018, and for a time, it was only available on Google Pixel phones. It eventually spread to additional devices, and it can now be found on non-Pixel phones.
Based on this, we anticipate the Privacy Dashboard will follow a similar path. It’ll most likely remain a Pixel-only feature for a while, but it could eventually be rolled out to other Android devices—though when that happens is unclear.