How Google Android 11 aims to protect your work, personal data

With Android 11, Google is offering new work profile improvements that make Android even more private and productive for employees using both personal and company-owned devices.

To better support company-owned devices, the work profile now offers device controls like asset management tools and personal usage policies that give IT the ability to keep devices compliant with corporate policy without compromising employee privacy.

Regardless of who owns the device, industry-leading data separation and security controls help ensure work data is secure in the work profile.

“To give employees more information about their location privacy, we’ve added a new notification whenever their IT admin grants location access to work apps,” Google said in a blog post on Tuesday.

“We’ve also enhanced our agreements with device manufacturers to help ensure all work profile privacy protections are reliably enforced”.

A new Omdia research survey of 700 IT decision makers found that 80 per cent of respondents believed personal data should be kept private from IT on a company-owned device.

The work profile makes the separation of work and personal data visible and usable for employees.

“We’re taking that even further in Android 11 by expanding work and personal separation to more places throughout Android,” Google said.

Employees will now see separate tabs for work and personal when they share files, open content or go into their settings menu.

Android 11 will remove unwanted distractions when the work profile is paused and enable employees to automatically pause work apps according to their own schedule.

“For those times when it’s helpful to view work and personal data at the same time, we’ve built a new secure mechanism for merged experiences, allowing trusted apps to connect between work and personal profiles,” Google said.

“Both employees and IT must approve the way an app will handle security and user privacy before allowing an app to connect”.

Google Calendar will soon allow people to see personal events in their work calendar, helping to better schedule around commitments across their day.

Personal calendar events will remain privately stored on device in the personal profile, invisible to both colleagues and IT.

In Android 11, Google is investing more in security and management features that provide organisations with more protection for their data.

It includes more IT controls for always-on VPN configurations and the ability to pre-grant certificate access for work apps, among others.

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