We have all been there, that sudden strange moment when after speaking to a friend or partner about what you are going to have for dinner, what you would like to buy or what you are up to at the weekend, and then suddenly your social media feed is full of food delivery or takeaway, products of interest or suggestions for outdoor activities etc. Or likewise, you view an advert or news article on one app, and the same product or story pops up on the next app you access!
I have written before about user safety and privacy on line, and some of the more serious implications if left vulnerable - and asked the question of where accountability lies for this. It is of course true that as the user you need to have some awareness and take some precautions, but the industry needs to also provide active prevention of any privacy invasion.
This latest update by Apple on their iOS platform goes someway to taking back some of that accountability and offers some proactive measures. This is an issue which, really, is more of a nuisance than anything more sinister. However the fact still remains that the ability of an app to access this information should not just be assumed and granted to it.
The biggest change with this new update, and a welcome one at that, is better transparency. The user will be able to see which apps are tracking their movements, and which have actively requested more information and access. Therefore giving more power to the user.
I think this is a great move, and as an Apple device user it is a welcome one. I wonder if other products will follow soon?
Apple device users will now be able see when individual apps request to access features such as the microphone, camera and phone gallery, plus which third parties they have connected with in the last seven days.