Posts tagged Privacy
As iOS has matured the integration between your personal information and applications that want access to that personal information has also matured. Apple has done a good job of making sure you know when an app requests access to your calendar, contacts, Twitter and Facebook accounts but also a good idea to just check up on things now and again to make sure the apps you don’t want to have access to your personal information doesn’t have it. In this How To I’m going to show you how to see which apps have access to your Contacts and how you can disable that access should you want to do so quick and easy.
First, go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and scroll down to find the Privacy section and tap it. This will bring you into all of the privacy settings on your device. Now tap on the Contact section and it will bring you to the list of applications
that have access to your Contacts. Hopefully, if you have been careful, you should not see any surprises in this list. All of the apps here you would have had to approve to give access to your Contacts. But, if you gave access by accident or want to revoke the access, here is where you could disable access.
Each app that has access has an On/Off slider. Just slide it to Off for the apps you want to revoke access to your Contacts. When you are done just tap the Home button and all of your changes take place with immediate effect.
Now if you tap on the Privacy button at the top of the page to go back to the Privacy settings on your iPhone, you will see other apps such as Calendars, Reminders, Photos, Twitter and Facebook. If you remember back in August of last year I posted a How To on controlling which apps have access to your Twitter account. This is the same place, just a different app.
One of the many things I appreciate about iOS is how simple Apple does make it in giving you control over your information. For a company that is often accused of not having their customer’s best interests in mind, this clearly flies in the face of that notion.
In light of the recent uproar over the privacy and policy changes at Instagram, apps that provide services are, understandably, treading cautiously with any terms, conditions and privacy changes going forward. Instagram suffered an almost instant backlash publicly but it seems debatable how much real damage was done to the company with their recent snafu.
Yesterday Foursquare sent out an email to all of its members highlighting changes that are coming in 2013 to the social networking app and service. The email lays out in plain English the changes that are coming and where you can read all of the detailed legal bits should you want to do so.
The first change to come 28 January is that your full name will be displayed, not just your first name and last initial. The email explains that, “Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial (“John Smith” vs. “John S.”). For instance, if you search for a friend in Foursquare, we show their full name in the results, but when you click through to their profile page you don’t see their last name.”
The second change is for businesses on Foursquare. This change means that businesses on Foursquare will be able to see who checked in to their location over the course of a day, not just the past 3 hours (the current limit). As an individual user you can of course opt out so a business won’t see your check-in.
The full policy can be found on the Foursquare website but it is clear that the afterglow of the Instagram debacle has made companies think carefully and clearly about policy changes. Having read over the policy I don’t see anything alarming but your mileage may vary.
One of the big advantages of the iPhone and iPad is Location Services. Built into iOS 4 & 5, Location Services allow your iDevice to know where you are at any particular time. It uses both GPS as well as cellular tower and crowd-sourced WiFi access points to determine your location. This is particularly helpful for things such as weather apps, social networking apps and so forth so you can get local information no matter where you are and to get it without requiring your intervention. There are times however where you may want to disable this functionality for privacy or security concerns. Fortunately Apple has provided a quick and easy way to do this in the settings on your device.
To start, Location Services are found in the Settings of your iPhone or iPad under, you guessed it, Location Services. If you tap the Location Services menu you will see the master on/off slider for the service as well as the list of apps that take advantage of it that are on your device. Each app has a slider that allows you to turn on or off the service for that particular app. While disabling the master Location Service will disable all of the apps from accessing your location information, I have found that disabling it per-app is a bit more useful. For example, when I travel I often will disable to Weather location services so when I can see the weather back at home when I access the Notification Center without having to go into the Weather app itself.
By some of your apps you will also notice a compass needle icon by the on/off slider for the app. These needles give you a visual indicator of the type of location information is being used as well as when it has last accessed Location Services. For example, if you see a purple icon then that app is currently using the service to determine your location. If you see a grey icon then that app has accessed the service in the last 24 hours. If you scroll down to the very bottom of the Location Services screen below the apps you will see all of the definitions for each icon.
Location Services is a power feature of iOS and 99% of the time is a huge help rather than a problem. There are times however where being able to turn it off can be handy or give you an added sense of security as you travel about.