Xiaomi is About to Introduce a Crucial Security Feature on MIUI 11

  • Xiaomi is testing a new feature regarding app permission management for its latest MIUI OS.
  • The new system will prevent apps from running secretly in the background and invoking risky permissions.
  • Users will be able to set what apps they trust to avoid getting spammed with warning notifications.

Xiaomi is ready to introduce a new security feature on its latest Android-based operating system named MIUI. The new feature is called App Behavior Records, and this is Xiaomi’s approach to creating something like the new permissions management system found in Android 10. This means that phones that are eligible for receiving the latest MIUI 11 update will be empowered by a more granular control over what permissions are granted to each application, as well as at what times. The possible settings will be “during active application use”, “in the background”, and “never”.

app_behavior
Source: xda-developers.com

The new system will be monitoring which apps are launching themselves or other apps in the background, as well as when they are using certain particularly risky permissions. In addition, this activity will be logged and presented to the user for review. Xiaomi has defined what constitutes “sensitive actions” as laid out in the list below:

  • 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.

When an app engages in one or more of the above actions, the user will receive a warning so that they can take action if needed. When an app is considered trustworthy, the user may add it to the “trusted list” helping to keep the number of notifications to a manageable amount, as well as to focus on what truly constitutes a risk. This implementation is not just a copy from Android 10 but actually builds upon it to provide even more options and power to the user.

The MIUI 11 was released back in October 2019, and most Xiaomi, Poco, and Redmi devices have already received it. However, most of these phones are still using Android 9.0 under the MIUI “sheepskin”, so they are missing many of the critical security and performance goodies that came with Android 10. Xiaomi is reportedly preparing a special version called “MIUI 11+”, which will have the same appearance as MIUI 11 but will be based on Google’s latest OS version. Whether or not both the MIUI 11 and the MIUI 11+ users will receive the new “App Behavior Records” remains to be seen, but we reckon that both user categories will get it this year.

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