MIUI 11 is testing a new security feature that warns you when apps are using sensitive permissions

MIUI 11 is testing a new security feature that warns you when apps are using sensitive permissions

With our phones becoming somewhat of a crutch in our every-day lives, there’s a lot of potential abuse that can take place through someone’s smartphone. That’s why we’ve seen a massive overhaul in the permissions system with the launch of Android 10, which allows you to only grant temporary GPS access to apps when they’re open, for example. Permissions have also been made much more granular. Still, the system isn’t perfect, and MIUI 11 is introducing a new security feature to warn you when an app is using sensitive permissions. MIUI 11 has just recently rolled out to a number of Xiaomi devices, and you can check out which devices and how to install it here.

The feature is called “App Behavior Records” in MIUI 11, and it logs when apps are launching other apps in the background or when they are using sensitive permissions. The behavior recorded is as follows.

  • Autostarting in the background
  • Chain start (app launching another app)
  • Using certain permissions
  • Performing sensitive actions

“Sensitive actions” on MIUI 11 seemingly include the following.

  • 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

The list is quite long, and the user can control whether or not they receive notifications for when an app is detected using these permissions. It can be tweaked per application, so that an app you trust may not spam you with notifications. The feature is currently in testing and may not be available on all MIUI 11 devices yet. It’s a step in the right direction for privacy and even goes above and beyond what Google already offers as part of Android 10. We’re looking forward to its potential growth and improvement in the future!

Thanks to XDA Junior Member kacskrz for sending us the tip and the screenshots!

About author

Adam Conway
Adam Conway

A 21-year-old Irish technology fanatic in his final year of a Computer Science degree. Lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter Strike. You can contact me at [email protected] My Twitter is @AdamConwayIE and my Instagram is adamc.99.