Apple has released a much-needed feature with the iOS 14 update which can alert you to when your privacy is being invaded.
Consumers have long speculated over the smartphone’s ability to record conversations and video, leaving technology companies like Google, Amazon and Apple jumping to defend the device’s abilities to store and record private information.
Apple admitted inbuilt app Siri had the ability to start listening to conversations through their devices in 2019, but defended it by stating it only began recording when it detected specific phrases.
Amazon also confirmed their smart speakers in Alexa had the ability to record conversations, and data was collected, transcribed and stored by the company.
But the tech giant believes their users are savvy enough to to understand this and most aren’t bothered by it as the benefits of smart technology outweigh the privacy issue.
“We try to educate them about the controls we have put on ourselves, and be as transparent as possible. If they find enough utility they’re willing to use it. We let it be their personal choice,” Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and devices Miriam Daniel told news.com.au in 2019.
For iPhone users, a new feature will now detect when a device is recording or their camera is active with a small yellow dot visible next to the battery life when this is occurring.
Users can also see if an app has used the camera or speaker recently via the control centre.
Location settings have also changed, now sharing an “approximate location” with apps, rather than an exact location.
Password protection has also been kicked up a notch with users now receiving alerts if their saved passwords have been compromised.
App users can also easily check what data will be accessed in the app store before downloading an app, helping to better understand privacy policies.
Apple said the update was their commitment to privacy transparency, describing it as a “fundamental human right at the core of everything we do.”
iOS 14 is available on all iPhones, although some features are restricted to newer phones.
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