Microsoft is working on a new privacy interface in the settings for Windows 11. In it, we can see exactly which apps or tools have sensitive information and hardware access such as camera, microphone or location. It is also possible to check what they are doing. This means that those in Windows 11 will not secretly follow us.
Windows 11: Now no one will secretly follow us!
Microsoft is linking the new Privacy Panel to the existing Privacy & Security page in Settings. At this point, you can see a list of apps that use a camera, location, or microphone, and especially when they are in use. The function does not reveal everything so it is true that it is not perfect. A lot of things are still revealed.
Bigger improvement than Windows 10
In Windows 10, hardware permissions can be a little confusing. However, Microsoft is not giving much information about the use of the application. Although you can see which application uses the microphone directly from the taskbar, it is not possible to view the list of applications that have previously accessed the hardware functionality.
As you can see in the picture below, the new Windows 11 Privacy Panel is very useful and it is not difficult to get it when you know where to look as revealed by the WindowsLatest website.
To access the function, open Settings and go to Privacy & Security> Apps Permissions.
This page allows you to choose between hardware such as camera, location and microphone. If you select microphone, you can view your recent activity.
At the same time, the menu allows you to browse the camera usage timeline. Similarly, it can track application request activities for other hardware functions such as microphone or location.
However, we have found clear things like Microsoft Edge and Microsoft teams that use microphones.
However, you may find more surprising things like silently accessing the location while the third-party application is in the background.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the functionality does not allow you to know when a specific process or driver has access to specific permissions, such as location or microphone access. I remind you that these hardware functions are basic to spy on where you are or what you do with the camera or microphone.
Windows has never had such a useful privacy tool and it’s definitely a good idea. However Google has added a function similar to Android with version 12 and Google’s implementation is also not perfect.
In addition to the new privacy controls, Microsoft is also exploring new taskbar functions for the system, including dynamic updates.