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Android 15 will verify it's you when you connect to a PC

It's not perfect but this Android 15 feature should give you more peace of mind when plugged in.

Published onMarch 22, 2024

USB preferences on a Pixel phone
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • The Android 15 Developer Preview 2 now requires users to authenticate themselves if they want to change USB modes.
  • That means someone with your unlocked phone can’t access your data via a computer.

Google just released the Android 15 Developer Preview 2 (DP2), and there are a host of changes to uncover in this release. Now, it turns out that the company has added a security measure for USB connectivity.

Android Police discovered that Android 15 DP2 now requires users to authenticate themselves via biometrics (e.g. fingerprint) or the device unlock code when changing their phone’s USB mode. Android phones allow users to switch between file transfer/Android Auto, USB tethering, MIDI, PTP, or webcam options when plugged into another device such as a PC.

This authentication requirement is a handy addition as it prevents someone from gaining access to your files via a computer in the event that they’ve got your unlocked phone. For example, you may have asked someone to charge your phone via their computer, or you might have briefly handed over your device to a technician at a repair store.

The outlet notes that there’s still a small security loophole for phones with developer options enabled. More specifically, it’s still possible for someone to grab your data if they enable USB debugging authorization.

Nevertheless, this is a sensible move by Google as it introduces another layer of security to prevent data theft. So we hope it remains in the final stable Android 15 release.

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