Apple’s New iOS Update Promotes User Privacy
With over 113 million active iPhone users in the U.S. alone, Apple accounts for more than 1.4 billion active users globally using one or more of Apple’s devices. Besides, the tech company brings tens of millions of new users each year, suggesting that Apple is constantly drawing new users annually. Although its products are widely used globally, the company continues to face numerous concerns over user privacy, and it is now taking critical steps to address this issue.
Recently, Apple released an update on all their devices equipped with the latest features that allow users to have total control over their personal data, including an option to monitor how apps use their data. This comes in the wake of intense criticism over how companies, such as Google, WhatsApp, and Facebook, use information gathered from users. That said, this post will discuss Apple’s new iOS update feature and how computer users can benefit from it.
Understanding Apple’s Privacy Changes to iOS
Apple’s latest iOS update came as an update to its operating system, giving iPad and iPhone users more control over their data and apps that access this information. The intent is to limit or restrict the amount of data collected or tracked by third-party apps on Apple’s devices, besides allowing users to opt-out anytime. The update was a much-anticipated software that would see users manage personal information, especially with increasing concerns over control of user data.
The new privacy protections targeted iOS 15, iPadOS15, watchOS 8, and MacOS Monterey. These are among Apple’s latest innovations regarding the legacy of privacy leadership, since the company continues to advance its commitment and concern over industry features that target user data, such as App Tracking Transparency. Apple also remains committed to developing more advanced features that enable users to control and make versed decisions regarding data sharing.
Generally, the update enables users to unlock their devices even when wearing a mask, choose their preferred voice for Siri, and control their privacy. Although it offers new features, the most far-reaching update revolves around the app tracking transparency feature. This feature requires all third party apps to request permission from the user prior to tracking their data on the website, over other apps, or when sharing.
For instance, if an app needs to collect a user’s data outside its service, it will prompt permission from the user. If the user allows the app, it will collect user information. However, if the user clicks “Ask App Not to Track,” the app is denied access to track user data. Users can also change this option anytime, since Apple gives its users the freedom to choose whether they need to be tracked or not.
How Apple’s iOS Update Promotes User Privacy
Before the release of iOS 14.5, developers used advanced tools to track user data on every application used and websites visited. Marketers then use this information, together with other user details, to create targeted ads based on the user’s data. However, the latest update enables users to manage their data and decide when to share it with developers and marketers. Here’s how Apple’s new iOS update protects users’ private information from marketers.
Prevents Third-Parties from Collecting User Data
Since email senders use invisible pixels to collect crucial user data, the update features Mail Privacy Protection software that addresses this issue. The update is integrated into the Mail App, enabling users to prevent senders from detecting when they open their emails while masking their IP addresses. This ensures the IP isn’t associated with other online activities or used to determine user location.
Helps Monitor App Permissions
App permissions remain the only way developers access a user’s device and track or collect crucial information. Apple’s new update incorporates an App Privacy Report feature that allows users to monitor how often apps use permissions granted. Because most applications require permission to access a user’s location, microphone, photos, contacts, and camera, the update lets the user check how often apps use these permissions. If users detect any suspicious activities on one or more apps, they can easily take action by either restricting or disabling the app altogether.
Limits Unwanted Audio Recordings
With speech recognition becoming a norm among iPhone and iPad users, developers can use this tool to track what users are looking for. The update accompanies an on-device speech recognition, meaning all audio requests are processed on their devices by default without the need for an internet connection. Put simply, the update enables the device to process the audio of Siri offline and prevents recordings that third parties can track. Besides, Siri processing is transitioning on the device, allowing the device to process requests such as setting timers and alarms, controlling music, and launching apps without Wi-Fi or mobile data.
Promotes iCloud+ Privacy
iCloud+ is Apple’s cloud-based service that allows users to store their data in the cloud, including videos, photos, and personal files, securely and conveniently. Since developers can track the movement of data between information within the device and the cloud, Apple’s latest update combines various features to help facilitate the safety of user data. iCloud Privacy Relay, Hide My Email, and HomeKit Secure Video received improved safety and protection against tracking. Hide My Email allows users to share specific and random email addresses to their personal inboxes without privacy concerns.
How Computer Users Can Benefit from Apple’s Latest Software Update
Apple is giving users the freedom to control how their data is tracked, collected, and used by third parties, in this case, developers and marketers. For Apple users with concerns over their privacy, the company allows them to prevent third parties from accessing and tracking their personal information. This enables them to keep their data private, although companies like Facebook continue to criticize the move, claiming it will worsen app experiences.
At Menark Technologies, we can help you get more insights into Apple’s latest software update and how it can help you and your business avoid tracking. For more information, contact us or fill in our online form here to learn more today!
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