We have some great news for you if you’re an iPhone user. Apple have just beefed your privacy.
Even if you’re not an iPhone though, it’s still good news as iOS 14 has moved the goal posts for everyone.
Apple has taken a great massive step forward in protecting our privacy on iPhones. The latest iOS version 14 has a new feature that will let you know when your camera or microphone are in use. A gentle orange dot will appear at the top right of your phone if they are being used. You may have noticed this feature previously on some laptops.
This sounds fab. Now we need to test it and see if it actually works.
I say this because of the many cases of apps being switched off, including in settings not being allowed to access the camera or microphone, and yet they have been recording. Even Apple itself has admitted to having a team of people listening in to our conversations. All the usual suspects do it – FB, google amazon. Not that I’m sceptical or anything but hey, they told us switching off location tracking stopped location tracking by google and apps. It doesn’t.
Perhaps that’s why Apple have also done something else. They’ve stopped app developers and websites from tracking us without our knowledge. You see, Apple has an Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) that apps can use to track your activity on your devices and across apps and websites. That’s how these services know so much about us and why the likes of google and Facebook worried.
From now on, not just can users choose switch off the IDFA completeley (why would you ever want it on) but if you keep it on, apps will have to ask your permission to use it. This basically puts Facebook’s and Googles tracking back to circa 2005.
Thank you Apple for remembering privacy and moving things forward.