As part of iOS 14, Apple announced new privacy updates at WWDC 2020 event which minimize access to user data and give users more control and transparency. User privacy is one of those key areas which the iPhone maker gives great importance to, and designs its software to ensure that the company does not track private user data on its devices or store them on its servers when not required.
Now Apple has gone further in giving users more knowledge of apps and websites when they track their information and movements and provided control over who can access their digital and virtual activities. The company is also working on creating a more secure smart Apple Home with all devices working seamlessly to maintain privacy and security.
Here is everything included in the new and more secure privacy updates.
Apple’s New Security and Privacy Updates
Apple has introduced new ways to empower users to reduce the access of web services and applications to their data. The new privacy updates also give users more control over which digital service can track their location, search, contacts, and more.
Convert accounts to Sign-in with Apple
Now users will be able to easily and quickly convert their existing accounts to Sign-in with Apple. This keeps their data secure and email addresses private. There are already 200 million accounts using Sign-in with Apple for online purchases with apps like Kayak.
Share Proximate Location
Users will have more control over their location data for various apps by opting out of sharing their precise location and choosing to share their proximate location. This ensures user safety and reduces tracking.
Visible alerts for Mic and Camera Recording
In iOS 14, iPhone and iPad will show an orange alert dot when the mic and camera are used for recording. Over the years, unauthorized access to private information via camera and mic recording has been highlighted which are a great threat to user privacy and security.
Various apps did not disable recording after users stopped using the app, to gain knowledge of user activities and preferences. Sometimes, access would be used for devious purposes. Therefore, a visible alert signal will appear in the status bar on the top right corner of the screen to notify when they are being recorded.
Ask for Permission
As part of its transparency update, Apple will now make apps ‘ask for permission’ before tracking users’ activities across apps and websites owned by other companies. Users will also have the option to not allow apps to track their information at all. This privacy feature is designed to give users control over choosing which services can track their digital footprints.
Developers to Self Report Data Collection
Apple’s new privacy update asks developers to report how much data will be collected in their apps. The developers will have to clearly state if they are collecting small amounts of data like location, or a lot of data like contact info, financial information, purchases and more.
Developers will also have to let the user know if their data will be shared with other sources. This self-reporting feature brings more transparency and allows users to make educated decisions on which apps to use.
The company has made its App Store ecosystem more transparent by enlisting an application’s data-tracking practices on its product page. Users will have all the knowledge of an app’s data collection policies to make informed decisions before downloading it on their device.
As daily activities depend more on the virtual space every day, it is very important that user data is not misused and online presence is not tracked without user permission. Thus, these new privacy updates are a welcome change by Apple.