Here is the fine print of privacy features in Apple’s new iOS 14 for iPhones

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All you need to know about the new privacy and security features in Apple’s iOS 14 for iPhones

Last week, Apple released its latest iteration of the operating system for iPhones called iOS 14. While iOS 14 may not contain many visually appealing updates, it comes with a bucketload of new privacy and security ones which Apple says are a gamechanger. In fact, Apple has started a new batch of iPhone ads advertising the new privacy and security features. So what does Apple bring to safeguarding the privacy and security of iPhone users? Let’s take a deep dive into the new privacy security features in iOS 14.

New privacy and security features in Apple’s iOS 14

1. iOS 14 now warns you when any App is using your camera or microphone

Apple iPhone users will come to know immediately if any App is using their camera or microphone. the new privacy feature will show an indicator dot (green for when camera or camera+microphone is in use, orange for microphone) in the top right part of your iPhone screen.

The new feature also allows iPhone users to deny access to your camera and microphone to any app through the Privacy settings. The only downside of this feature is that it is fairly small and you might miss it if other things are happening on the screen. However, you can always check which iPhone app most recently used your camera or microphone in the Control Center.

You can share with apps your approximate location instead of the precise one

Location sharing is one of the gray areas which many feel invades their privacy and opens them to hacking or stalking. Now Apple’s iOS 14 lets you share approximate location instead of your precise location with Apps. This not only helps you safeguard your physical address but also fulfills needs of Apps that specifically work on location like the Weather App.

To enable this feature go to Settings > Privacy and Location Services > Location Services. In this setting, you can configure location sharing for every app installed on your iPhone. You can also select whether you want the app to access your device’s location “only while the app is in use”, “always”, “never”, or you want the app to ask you for permission each time you run it (then you get the option to give it permission to access your location “Only once”).

The new iOS 14 also allows you to provide your precise location for an app or let the app to determine your approximate location (the latter is good enough for apps that show local news or weather).

iOS now lets you control which Apps access your image and video gallery

Apple has now let users decide which Apps should access their iPhone photo gallery. You can set the access in Privacy > Photos. In this setting, iPhone users can see the apps that have requested access to images and videos. iPhone users can choose to restrict each app’s access just to selected photos or photo albums or no access at all as they wish.

iPhone users can now limit tracking by Apps

iOS 14 now by default changes your MAC address every time you connect to a Wi-Fi network on your iPhone. The use of this feature is that Apps and service providers cannot track you consistently to deliver targeted ads. Though this is enabled by default, you can change the settings if you want. You can also select specific Apps that can track you. In Settings > Privacy > Tracking, iPhone users can choose to not allow apps to track them.

Once you disable tracking,  “any app that attempts to ask you for your permission will be blocked from asking and automatically informed that you have requested not to be tracked. In addition, all apps, other than those that you have previously given permission to track, will be blocked from accessing the device’s Advertising Identifier.”

In case you want only select Apps to be able to track you, you can also enable the same in Tracking. These features may not work in some Apps as Apple says that it has made mandatory for App developers to enable this feature by 2021.

iOS 14 will now give you a short summary app’s privacy practices before you download it from the Apple Store

Until now when you downloaded any App, you were asked for permission to let the App access the iPhone. But in the future iOS 14 will show you a short summary of every App’s privacy policy before you download it. As of now, few App developers have updated their apps to be compatible with iOS 14 but Apple says going forward all Apps will have to provide a short summary of their privacy practices before iPhone users download their App.

When they are updated, you can view the summary by clicking the “App Privacy” button on the listing in the Apple store before deciding to download it.

iOS 14 now allows users to see which tracking cookies have been blocked

iOS 14 comes with an updated version of Apple’s Safari mobile browser which now shows iPhone users a Privacy Report. In case you don’t like tracking cookies gathering information about you, you can block them by enabling Prevent Cross-Site Tracking in Safari’s Privacy and Security Settings. If you enable this feature, Safari’s privacy report will show you the details of all the cross-site tracking cookies your Safari browser has blocked in the past 30 days. The report is accessible from the AA menu in the browser’s address bar.

With the iCloud Keychain feature, iOS 14 will notify iPhone users if their user id or password appears in any data breach

This is a very good security feature for iPhone users. If you enable the iCloud Keychain feature, iPhone will immediately inform you if your email id or password appears in any database leaked by hackers around the world. To turn this option on, go to Settings > Passwords > Security Recommendations and enable Detect Compromised Passwords.

Apple has put in a lot of effort into making some of the above features available for iPhone users in iOS 14. The new privacy and security features not only help iPhone owners safeguard their privacy and security, but it also gives them quite a good leeway to control how the iPhone uses their data. The App short summary of the privacy policy is a good way to make Apps more transparent. If they misinform you, they cannot go back to say it was a bug like TikTok, Reddit, etc. did after users noticed these Apps accessing the iPhone clipboard without their consent.

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"The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." Eric Schmidt

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