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Apple enables promised privacy safeguards in iOS 6

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.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. UmarOMC

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    1-Upped Google Play

    The policy seemed the same as with Google's Play store which, via Android, show what Permissions said app will have before downloading and installing until I read this;

    "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."

    This is definitely in favor of the end user and would provide a better experience. With Android your options are to; accept the Permissions and install, don't accept and don't download and install or install and hope the app works sans data connection (ie; putting the phone in Airplane Mode so you can use an app without ads or tracking your location, etc.).

    Apple's wording here has the potential to coerce developers to make their apps function either way or not be published on the iTunes/Mac App Store.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Okay! Now I have a reason

    to upgrade iOS on my 3GS. :)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    or....

    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.

    Or it could be an attempt to fix their glaring security holes that they ignored for several years despite earlier breaches. Apparently telling developers you need to 'ask' before accessing data doesn't work all the time.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: 1-Upped Google Play

    "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."

    This is definitely in favor of the end user and would provide a better experience.


    Um, how is a half-functioning app a 'better experience'? Of course it depends on the app, but you also have to know with either what they plan on using the info for. What if you download an app and it won't do anything without access to your photo library.

    With Android your options are to; accept the Permissions and install, don't accept and don't download and install or install and hope the app works sans data connection (ie; putting the phone in Airplane Mode so you can use an app without ads or tracking your location, etc.).

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