A simple iPhone hack reveals apps that spy on everything you do
YOUR iPhone can reveal exactly how apps use your most personal information.
A clever iPhone hack—only possible since last year—may highlight the dangers of oversharing.
It’s called App Privacy Report and it’s hidden in your iPhone’s privacy settings.
“The App Privacy Report helps you see how apps use the privacy permissions you’ve granted them, as well as their network activity,” Apple explained.
It’s only available on iOS 15.2 or later, so make sure you’re updated by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Then find it by going to Settings > Privacy > App Privacy Report.
You’ll need to actively turn it on, at which point it will start collecting information about how apps use your personal data.
“The App Privacy Report only starts collecting information after you turn it on, so it may take some time for details to appear,” Apple said.
“You’ll see more information as you continue to use apps on your device.
“The data in your app privacy report is encrypted and stored only on your device.”
You can turn it off at any time using the same process.
And turning it off will clear the data from your device.
What’s in the iPhone App Privacy Report?
There are two main areas that the report focuses on.
The first one is Access to data and sensorswhich tracks when an app has accessed “privacy-sensitive data or device sensors” in the past week.
This will include details about an app that has access to your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts, and more.
If you tap on an app and data type, you’ll be able to find out more.
Many applications will use this information legitimately.
For example, Apple Music may need contact information to display your profile picture.
The second focus is Network activity.
This will include information about domains the apps have connected to – or websites you’ve visited within the apps.
“A domain is the name of a website that allows it to be found on the Internet,” explained Apple.
“This information also helps provide visibility into domains that may be collecting data about you across apps and websites.”
You’ll see domains you’ve connected to in the last seven days.
It may include clicking on an article in an app or playing a video.
You’ll also see the domains you connect to most often across all your apps.
But you won’t get a network activity report from private browsing sessions in browser apps.
All of this should give you a good idea if an app is abusing your trust.
“The App Privacy Report was created to give you more visibility into how apps are accessing your data,” Apple said.
“If it looks like an app is accessing your data in a way or at a time you didn’t expect, you can update your privacy settings or revoke permission.”
It is possible to check your application privacy report at any time and as often as you wish.
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