Google is in the process of developing a new API that could prevent the playback of multimedia content on modified devices, such as those with an active root or unlocked bootloader. While still in the conceptual stage, it’s evident that the tech giant from Mountain View is determined to exert greater control over the types of devices authorized to play movies, series, music, and other streaming content. This approach aligns with practices already adopted by many providers, Netflix being a prime example, but the native implementation in Android could have more significant ramifications.

Google has a history with such endeavors. The company had previously worked on the “Web Integrity API,” essentially allowing websites to access the device to check for tampering. However, the term “tampered” can easily be replaced with “intentionally modified by the user” for various reasons. The idea faced significant criticism, leading Google to abandon it, at least temporarily. However, this hiatus was short-lived.

The company has returned with the “Android WebView Media Integrity API,” which promises to achieve a similar goal but is limited to content displayed via WebView, the browser developers use when their apps need to showcase web content. Currently, it remains unclear what the default settings and behavior of the API will be. The most plausible theory is that Google will allow individual websites to choose whether to block traffic or not.