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Unavoidable issue of modern cell phones is that they have a front and rear side camera covering almost a 360deg view. And that some applications like, say Facebook request access for everything. So basically a normal user has at least an app that has camera permissions, and even though they intend to use it rarely, there's no info about when it turns on.

My question is, is there a way to monitor when do apps that have those permissions actually turn on the camera?

(Let's narrow it down to Android)

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  • On an ordinary Android device, no. With root access, probably, though I am not 100% certain. With a custom ROM, yes, if the modified version of Android elects to report this information to the user. Dec 29 '16 at 17:07
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If you're using CyanogenMod, Privacy Guard has this functionality.

Optionally, disable it in the app's settings and set it to 'Ask' for permission every time, which will give you a warning each time.

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I've sidestepped this with a simple non-technical solution: unless I'm actively using them, my cameras are covered by a physical barrier. You can buy plastic switches cheaply on Amazon, or simply use a small square of tape.

I realize this doesn't answer the stated question, but I think it does provide an answer to your underlying question, which is "How do I prevent apps from spying on me using my cameras?".

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  • Duck taping a phone is the sexiest solution, I can't argue with that. :) Dec 29 '16 at 17:21

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