iOS 15.2: How to use Apple’s ingenious new iPhone and iPad privacy feature

Apple’s new App Privacy Report, released with iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2, helps give you visibility into the ways apps use the privacy permissions you’ve granted them, as well as their network activity.

With iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2, you can turn on App Privacy Report to see details about how often apps access your data — like your location, camera, microphone, and more. You can also see information about each app’s network activity and website network activity, as well as the web domains that all apps contact most frequently. The App Privacy Report helps give you a more complete picture of how the apps you use treat your data.

Turn on App Privacy Report:
1. In Settings, tap “Privacy”
2. Scroll to and tap “App Privacy Report”
3. Tap Turn on “App Privacy Report”

App Privacy Report starts gathering information only after you turn it on, so it may take a little time for details to appear. You’ll see more info as you continue using apps on your device. The data in your App Privacy Report is encrypted and stored only on your device.

You can turn off App Privacy Report at any time in Settings > Privacy > App Privacy Report. Doing so will also clear the report data from your device.

App Privacy Report includes information about the following:

Data & Sensor Access

App Privacy Report: Data & Sensor Access

Data & Sensor Access shows how many times and when an app accessed privacy-sensitive data or device sensors in the past 7 days. This may include details about an app’s access to Location, Photos, Camera, Microphone, Contacts, and more. You can tap each app and data type to learn more.

Apple apps use Contacts data in various ways on your device to provide features to you. For example, Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, Fitness, and Apple Books use your Me card from Contacts to display your profile photo in those apps. Notes, Reminders, and Messages personalize your experience on each device with names from your Contacts. Camera and Photos use Contacts to identify people in photos for albums, Memories, and other features that are personalized on your device. Fitness and Health use Contacts to enable sharing features. Calendar uses Contacts to display birthdays. In these cases, contact names and photos are kept on your device and aren’t sent to Apple.

Network Activity

App Privacy Report: Network Activity

App Privacy Report includes information about domains that have been contacted either by apps you’ve used or websites you’ve visited within those apps. A domain is the name of a website that allows it to be found on the internet. This information also helps provide visibility into domains that may be collecting data about you across different apps and websites.

• App Network Activity shows domains that have been contacted either directly or from content within an app in the past 7 days. Domains that have been contacted from content could include things like tapping on an article in a social app’s news feed or playing a video that’s embedded in an app.

• Website Network Activity shows domains that have been contacted by websites you’ve visited within apps in the past 7 days.

• Most Contacted Domains lists the web domains most frequently contacted by all your apps, either directly or from in-app web content, in the past 7 days.

App Privacy Report doesn’t include network activity from private browsing sessions in browser apps. Network activity and websites visited in non-browser apps that provide private modes are displayed in App Privacy Report.

How to update privacy settings

App Privacy Report is designed to give you more visibility into how apps access your data. If an app appears to be accessing your data in a way or at a time that you didn’t expect, you can update your privacy settings or revoke permission using the privacy settings on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac.

MacDailyNews Note: If you need more information about why an app wants access to particular data or how that access is used, you can check the app’s privacy policy, read the app’s Privacy Nutrition Label on its App Store product page, or contact the app developer for more information.

Note that in some cases, an app may have access to data from your device without the app developer collecting that data. For example, if the data is kept only on your device.

1 Comment

  1. Before seeing the report, first do not let apps access other parts of your iPhone. IMHO an app is free to collect what you do inside their app. But how this crazy off app collection started without it being called out is incredulous. 1. install App. 2. isn app. 3. app collects data from your GPS, your contacts list, your call log, the websites you visit.
    I see many rightly upset about Apple’s attempt at CSAM scanning. I hope they are just as upset as phone scanning by apps.
    Don’t allow it, period. Next, use the App privacy report to see what the app is doing within itself. Good tool.

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