Xiaomi is testing a new privacy feature that flags suspicious app behavior

MIUI Logo (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Xiaomi is reportedly working on beefing up security in MIUI 11.
  • It's working on a feature that notifies users when an app uses sensitive permissions.
  • Potentially suspicious behavior, like opening another app or autostarting in the background, will also be flagged.

Privacy controls are all the rage these days, and it's no wonder, with every day bringing a new story about how our digital privacy is being violated, either with intent or mistakenly, by mega corporations and even Uncle Sam himself.

Google's certainly taken big steps toward improving privacy in Android 10 by providing users with more granular controls. It's also expected to continue this trend with future Android releases. And while phone makers' custom skins are generally not known for their tough privacy stances, Xiaomi seems to be working on making its MIUI stand out from the rest in this regard.

XDA Developers reports that the company is currently testing a new notification system for apps that flag any activity that could potentially violate the user's privacy or security. Dubbed "App Behaviour Records," the feature does exactly what its name implies.

Example of behavior that MIUI may soon start flagging include apps autostarting in the background or chain starting another app. Using sensitive permissions or carrying out sensitive tasks will also prompt a notification. Examples of these include:

  • Recording audio in the background
  • Accessing calendar events
  • Accessing call history
  • Making a phone call
  • Taking photos or recording videos
  • Accessing or saving items to the clipboard
  • Accessing contacts
  • Accessing your location
  • Reading your text messages
  • Accessing sensor data
  • Accessing activity info
  • Accessing device info
  • Reading your phone number
  • Accessing or saving files in the background

Of course, you don't want to be bombarded with notifications every two seconds, so Xiaomi will include options to change precisely which of these events trigger a warning, as well controls for individual apps, based on how much you trust the app.

Since the changes are simply being tested right now, there's no word yet on when the new feature will be available to the masses, if at all.

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Muhammad Jarir Kanji