Apple stresses an even higher importance on user security with their upcoming iOS 14 update

Taking security a step further on iOS14, Apple gives users much more information to understand the information being tracked and how

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iOS 14 security tracking
Katie Skinner explains how users can manage their tracked data at this year's virtual WWDC 2020

The iOS 14 release is right around the corner and a lot of people (like me) have already taken the public beta for a spin. It’s great to see Apple put the rights and knowledge of users above all else. The 14th iteration of their mobile operating system comes with much more transparency for the users and a whole lot of credibility requirements for developers. 

Transparency at the forefront

Permissions

As soon as I loaded iOS 14’s Public Beta on my iPhone 11 Pro, I was met with a whole lot of new permission requests on most apps I had used many times before. These new requests not just let you know whether the app is using features such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi but also lets you know why. They let you know if the app will access other devices on your network or even when an app would like to track your uses across other platforms owned by the same company. 

Selected Media

Even access to apps like your gallery has changed. After updating to the public beta, I went into Whatsapp to share a picture with one of my group. To my surprise, now you can give access to just the one image you want to share to Whatsapp. So similarly with other apps that had access to your entire gallery, you can just give selective access if needed. 

Special Indicator

Even while using apps, there is a new indicator on top of the signal strength indicator which lets you know when your camera or microphones are on. When the camera is on the indicator goes green and when just your microphone is being used, it goes orange. Every time an app uses your clipboard, you get a quick notification on top. 

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Geolocation Limitation

Of the many pieces of information our gadgets collect about us, location has to be one of the most contested. The upcoming iOS 14 update, will allow users to grant apps access to an approximate location only, without stating the specific address. It looks like the geolocation summary will be limited to a city or area in which the user is located. As a result, the app will not be able to refuse functionality because it will still have access to some data to go on with.

Safari Security

A lot of people I know don’t agree with me, but I love Safari. Since I moved to the Apple ecosystem I’ve been a consistent user of the browser. iOS 14 is bringing changes here too. Adding to their ban on cross-site tracking and cookies, the browser will now identify ‘trackers’ too. 

Now whether users will read through these permissions or even notice the indicators is a whole other story but the fact that the ease of understanding is provided is the point to be noted. Developers and advertisers might not be thrilled about these changes but for an audience with a lack of understanding of how the technology in their hands works, this could be a real game changer. 

There’s a whole load more coming along with iOS 14 this September. To know more, click here.