Windows 11 has a new privacy tool that is now in testing and lets you see which apps have recently accessed sensitive bits of hardware, like your webcam.
The privacy auditing feature was showcased on Twitter by Microsoft’s Vice President of Enterprise Security and OS David Weston, and is present in a new preview release of Windows 11 (being tested on the Dev Channel, where early versions operating system preview are put to the test).
New Windows 11 privacy auditing features let you see access history to sensitive devices like microphone pic.twitter.com/vq3IJkAIMOJune 16, 2022
The feature is in Settings (under Privacy & Security > App Permissions) where you can view a list of recent activity to see, for example, which apps accessed your microphone in the past week, or perhaps your camera, another obvious point to call. to check for any potentially suspicious activity.
It also keeps tabs on apps that have accessed your contacts or details related to your location, phone calls and more.
In each instance, the user is also informed of the exact time and date of access made to the hardware or function in question.
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It’s nice to see that the coverage provided here is quite broad in terms of keeping tabs on various sensitive bits and bobs, from the obvious cameras and microphones, to contacts and other details.
This is great information in terms of transparency as to what the software on your system is doing. Periodically checking the privacy audits present in Settings can yield some interesting findings, flagging apps you wouldn’t otherwise know have gotten their grip on some more sensitive aspects of your system (or highlighting something malicious that has flown under the radar, even) .
Microsoft has long had a troubled reputation for privacy when it comes to Windows, particularly since Windows 10 came along, so it’s also good to see the software giant taking a positive step on that front – one that should help Windows 11 users to maintain a better level of surveillance and general security when it comes to your PC. Assuming the feature passes the testing stage of course…