Google made a lot of noise about its commitment to user privacy during the conference on the first day of the I / O Developer Conference. While the company can hardly be considered the champion of privacy protection, it appears to be trying to make a change for the better. In the same offering, the company on Tuesday announced the introduction of revised interfaces in several applications and services, which will put privacy controls at the forefront. It seeks to provide one-click access to the Google Account from all of its major products. The company also announced that Android smartphones running version 7.0 and above can now be used as security keys for 2FA.
According to Google, this makes it easier to access Google Account settings from its various products on mobile devices. The company already features your profile picture in the top right corner of its products like Gmail, Drive, Contacts, and Pay to give quick access to your Google account. Now Google is expanding the same to more of its mobile products, including Search, Maps, YouTube, Chrome, Assistant, and News. One-click access will be rolled out gradually during this month.
Additionally, the company revealed that it is also expanding support for quick access to Google product-specific data in the company’s apps. It was originally introduced in Google Search, but is now rolling out to Maps and Google Assistant. YouTube will also receive it soon.
“You will be able to view and delete your location activity data directly in Google Maps, then quickly return to your routes”, Google Explain.
The company also announced that it is bringing Incognito Mode to Google Maps and Google Search, along with detailed plans for better cookie controls in Chrome. The company is also becoming more transparent and will detail the data used to personalize ads.
AI and privacy
In addition to the above changes regarding user privacy, Google announced how it uses machine learning to improve privacy protection. The company said its new federated learning AI model allows Google products to become smarter without user data ever leaving consumer devices.
“Federated learning allows mobile phones to collaboratively learn a shared prediction model while keeping all training data on the device, decoupling the ability to machine learning from the need to store data in the cloud ”, Google noted.
Google’s Gboard is already using federated learning to improve predictive typing and emoji prediction.
Android phone as security key for 2FA
Google has announced that the ability to use your Android smartphone as a passkey for two-factor authentication is now available to everyone. The feature was originally introduced in beta last month and works on Android phones running Nougat and later. The feature uses Bluetooth on your phone and the device you are using to connect to identify the presence of the passkey.
“Security keys are now available on phones running Android 7.0+ (Nougat) at no additional cost. This way your users can use their phones as the primary 2FA work method (G Suite, Cloud Identity, and GCP) and their personal Google accounts to sign in on Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X, or Windows 10 devices with a Chrome browser. Google wrote in a blog post. “It gives them the most powerful 2FA method with the convenience of a phone always in their pocket. “