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Your next Android phone’s camera can always be on

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Qualcomm announced the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor for flagship Android phones, and we were all excited about it. However, there is a hidden detail in the advertisement What we are concerned about: the processor will allow the phone’s camera to be on at all times.

The company’s vice president of product management, Judd Heape, describes the new technology, saying, “Your phone’s front-facing camera always looks for your face safely, even if you don’t touch it or pick it up to wake you up.”

That sounds great, since you can unlock your phone with your face more quickly. It also sounds scary as your smartphone’s front camera will always be looking at you whether you want it to or not. Imagine having your phone propped up on its charging stand, simply recording it at all times in case you could look at it so it’s ready to be unlocked.

Qualcomm is comparing the feature with microphones that always listen “Hey Google” and other commands. These aren’t the most private devices, but they’re listening to specific trigger words, not constantly scanning the room for your face. It feels different and much more invasive.

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Other devices do this. Google Nest Hub Max it has a camera that scans your face when you get close to give you information that is tailored to you. Security cameras his home they are already on all the time, constantly recording everything that happens in your house.

There will be a way to disable this at the operating system level if you prefer not to have your phone stare at you at all times. According The Verge Qualcomm Technologies VP of Product Management Ziad Asghar said, “The consumer has the option to choose what is enabled and what is not.” Phone manufacturers may also not even enable it on their phones right away, but we’ll have to wait and see.

That’s comforting, as it sounds like a privacy nightmare. Nobody wants put duct tape over your smartphone’s camera But if this feature becomes the norm, it could be the next logical step for those concerned about privacy.

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