An overview of Windows 11’s new Privacy Auditing

Windows 11 privacy settings

The new Privacy Auditing feature in Windows 11 is really beneficial for various reasons.

  • Using the Settings app in Windows 11, you’ll be able to see which programs and utilities have access to private hardware features like the camera, microphone, or location.
  • This is a new privacy dashboard from Microsoft. If you’d like to keep an eye on how it’s being used, you can.

It’s being integrated into the existing ‘Privacy & Security page in Settings. You’ll be able to view which apps are making use of your camera, location, or microphone at any given time. In spite of the fact that the function doesn’t allow you to find out when a certain driver uses hardware features, it’s still really useful.

Hardware permissions on Windows 10 can be a little complicated, and Microsoft isn’t giving much information about the app’s usage. There’s no way to check which apps have previously accessed hardware functions like the microphone, but you can see which apps are currently using it right on your taskbar in the notification area

Fortunately, finding Windows 11’s new privacy dashboard isn’t difficult, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Open Settings and navigate to Privacy & security > App permission in order to gain access to this function.

Hardware options include cameras, microphones, and locations. In the screenshot below, you can see the “Recent activity” of a camera by clicking the drop-down menu.

Using the menu, you may view the history of the camera. A microphone or GPS position can also be tracked through the app’s request activity.

Third-party software may secretly access the location while it’s operating in the background despite the fact that Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Teams are both using your microphone.

Because this functionality does not provide information on when a certain process or driver was granted access to certain privileges, such as location or microphone access. For example, a camera or microphone can be used to spy on your whereabouts and what you’re doing.

But it appears that Microsoft is taking steps to improve the operating system’s privacy settings with this feature. Version 12 of Android introduced a similar feature, which Google implemented imperfectly.

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