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New Microsoft Privacy Tool Shows Which Apps Access Camera, Microphone, and Message Data


After facing backlash for Windows 10 security, it seems that Microsoft is more committed than ever to restore users’ faith in the privacy of their OS.

Microsoft is set to launch a new privacy tool called Privacy Auditing, which notifies users of which programs and applications have recently attempted to access their computer’s cameras, microphones, and even message data.

This new feature, which has no set launch date yet, will allow Windows 11 users to keep an eye on the overall security of their devices.

The Testing Stage

The feature first came to light after David Weston, the Vice President for Enterprise and OS Security over at Microsoft, tweeted about it.

“New Windows 11 Privacy Auditing features allow you to see history of sensitive device access like the Microphone,” his tweet read.

The photo showed a new section under the Windows Privacy & Security settings page that listed all the applications that have accessed the microphone within the last week. To the right of the program names are timestamps and dates of access.

Not pictured above is another huge privacy upgrade: Windows 11 now shows you which applications can access sensitive information such as messages, screenshots, and even phone calls, allowing users to track down apps that may be collecting information for their own use.

Better Transparency, Less Vulnerability

The new privacy tool puts an emphasis on transparency between app and user. By showing people the extent to which their applications can access and collect sensitive information, users can better identify vulnerable spots on their devices. The tool itself also flags suspicious activity from software through these frequent privacy audits.

This is a step further from the current Windows 11 privacy features, which are not as detailed, but allows you to approve or revoke hardware access to different applications.

While there is no announced launch date yet, the new privacy tool is currently being tested in the Microsoft Dev Channels.

Ash Burnett

Hailing from Chicago, IL - Ash made his break into journalism at the age of 23 writing music reviews for a local website. Now in his late 30's and after being pulled closer towards the technical side of the music and live gig industry, he founded Shout4Music to write thorough microphone reviews.

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