Google's upcoming Android 9 a.k.a. Android P mobile operating system is reportedly coming this spring with a bunch of new features and enhancements, including a new security feature that will prevent idle apps from accessing the camera.
According to a recent Android Open Source Project (AOSP) commit (via XDA-Developers), Google's engineers implemented a new security feature in Android's Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) kernel module that prevents camera access from idle apps or services running in the background with an UID (User ID).
The security feature won't allow idle apps or services that were running in the background for a certain amount of time, which could be user-defined or implemented by default, to access the camera. These could include spyware and other malicious programs that could spy on you through the device's camera.
"If the UID becomes idle we generate an error and close the cameras for this UID," reads the commit. "If an app in an idle UID tries to use the camera we immediately generate an error. Since apps already should handle these errors it is safe to apply this policy to all apps to protect user privacy."
This upcoming Android P security feature to block camera access from idle apps running in the background is a sign that Google is serious about enforcing security procedures to protect user's privacy and freedom, which is long overdue, especially now that there are so many malicious Android apps in the Google Play Store.
Google is yet to announce a release date for Android 9.0, as well as its codename starting with letter P, not to mention the new features and improvements. If we look at previous releases, Android P could hit the streets in August, but, as expected, it will first be rolling out to supported Pixel and Nexus devices.