If you value your privacy, delete these 7 privacy-trampling iPhone apps

Jason Aten for Inc.:

Apple has long had a reputation for respecting users’ privacy… Still, that doesn’t mean that every app you download feels the same way.

In fact, here are seven of the worst offenders when it comes to respecting your privacy:

1. Facebook: Let’s face it (no pun intended), every time you use Facebook, you’re basically telling the company everything it needs to know in order to show you relevant ads that make it billions of dollars.

2. Basically Every Flashlight App: Your iPhone has a flashlight. There is literally no reason to ever download an app for that. Especially since according to a 2014 report from Wired, most of them only exist to harvest your personal information for various marketing purposes.

3. Weather Apps

4. Google Maps When you’re signed in, Google knows where you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re headed (if you use it for directions). Combine that with the fact that Google already knows your browsing history, who you regularly communicate with via email, which apps you log into on your phone, and a whole lot of other personal information, and you can start to see why Google is the world’s largest advertising platform. It basically knows everything.

5. Any Popular Games

6. DoorDash

7. Siri The recent revelation that Apple has contractors who regularly listen to a small sample of recorded interactions shows that Siri is not only listening when you talk to her, but often even when you aren’t.

MacDailyNews Take: By the way, when you remove the Facebook app, you might find your iPhone works much better, too. It’s a messy, resource hog of an app, for sure; one of the very worse.

So, this is good advice from Jason, except for #7. That Siri report is blown out of proportion (as are most things that involve Apple). These recording are from accidentally triggered Siri instances. Apple should definitely add a step to iOS device setup that allows users to easily opt out of Siri data collection, but while we wait for what should have been there all along, you can better control Siri, rather than removing it altogether, as Michael Potuck reports for 9to5Mac:

Jan Kaiser has shared an iOS profile to turn off logging of server-side Siri commands on GitHub.

How to stop Apple from listening to your Siri recordings

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, head to GitHub to download the “Prevent server-side logging of Siri commands.mobileconfig”
  2. Swith to the Raw view, tap Allow to download the profile
  3. Complete the profile installation in Settings by reviewing it and tapping Install

More info here.

13 Comments

  1. Good suggestions. Definitely get rid of Facebook, stat, it is essentially malware. An easy solution for the rest: turn off siri. Turn off location services unless you actually need it. Deny all but the most crucial apps (I’ll bet in reality the really important ones are just a few) any privileges outside of the app of any kind. Do not use your phone for truly sensitive activities, period.

  2. “The recent revelation that Apple has contractors who regularly listen to a small sample of recorded interactions shows that Siri is not only listening when you talk to her, but often even when you aren’t.”
    How does having contractors listen to a small sample of queries in any way imply that Siri is recording you when you’re not querying it? I’m not condoning it or not, but it’s a bit of a leap given the information supplied in the statement.

  3. I have WeatherBug, but the important one for me is Radar. It has great radar during severe weather and, as I live in Tornado Alley, we watch this a lot. We also use it when driving out of town – it can help if you reroute your trip because of heavy weather,

  4. Turn off your phone and return it to the store.
    Cancel all your utilities and any rental agreements
    Remove all your money from the bank and close all accounts
    Cancel all your credit/debit cards
    Buy a yurt (with cash) and then move to the woods
    Put on your tinfoil hat and yell at any strangers that approach

  5. Please DO NOT teach people to go to GitHub and install some profile that will do XYZ on your phone. This is exactly how most apple ‘viruses’ propagate, but users intentionally running some malicious code.

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