updated 07:49 pm EDT, Thu June 14, 2012
New version will now require explicit permission for info access
Apple's forthcoming iOS 6 will contain a change in app permissions, one that is aimed at increasing user privacy in the wake of embarrassing security breaches involving iOS apps. In the new version of iOS, apps will be prohibited from accessing certain user information without explicit user consent.
The "Data Privacy" section of Apple's iOS 6 Release Notes now states that a user will have to grant permission before a third-party app can access location, calendar, contact, reminder, and photo library data. The policy gives further guidance that apps must be prepared to be denied access to these items and still function or adjust their behavior accordingly.
In the event a user is not prompted to allow access to the protected data, iOS 6 will return a valid response containing no user records. Should a user deny access, the requesting app will receive no data.
The new policy comes as Apple is attempting to assuage the concerns of users and lawmakers over the company's policy regarding user data security. Earlier this year, the social networking app Path was found to have collected and transmitted users' entire contact list data in an unencrypted format. Following that revelation, Apple was named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that the company, as well as a number of app makers, had improperly exposed users' contact lists.