iOS 14 is the culmination of what Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned eleven months ago. According to him, privacy is a fundamental human right. This is in line with the fact that most Apple device users now, more than ever, save more confidential information on their devices. The Cupertino tech giant has therefore started seeking ways on how to make privacy a significant differentiator compared to its main rival Google and other players in the mobile communications market.
With the recent release of iOS 14, Apple sought to abide by its promise. iOS 14 includes many privacy features that are designed to provide users with more control when it comes to their personal information. These protective measures are meant to restrain online providers, app developers, and advertisers from often pushing the limits of data collection that are generally acceptable. This is supposing they don't cross the line.
iOS 14: New privacy features
Apple's latest iOS version, like its Android counterpart, has long allowed users to control which apps have access to their camera and microphone. With iOS 14, Apple goes even further. Users will actually get a real-time notification once an app captures video or audio from their devices. It even provides a list of the apps that have recently accessed either the camera or mic, or even both.
The notification is not intrusive so if you're not familiar with its indicator, it might be easy to miss. It's a small orange dot that's located just to the left of the battery indicator. Those who are really mindful of their privacy need to be accustomed to this while those who aren't that privy to their information can just ignore that orange dot and continue to use their devices.
When it comes to photos, users only had two choices prior to the launch of iOS 14. It's either they allow a certain app to gain access to every photo saved on the device or they will deny that app access to those personal files. Now, with Apple's latest mobile OS, users can allow an app to access just one or more specific photos. Those that weren't given clearance cannot be accessed by that app.
Previously, iOS users could grant or deny an app of location access. And iOS is known to provide a precise location down to the actual physical address. Now, users can opt for just a proximate location. This one's really useful for, say, a star-gazing app. It will get information of where you are without revealing your actual location.
Safari also had changes in terms of privacy in iOS 14. Apple's default browser now provides a privacy report. It summarizes the trackers users have encountered during the last 30 days. Another useful feature is anti-tracking. It would require app developers to get the users' consent first before tracking their activities on third-party apps and websites.
iOS 14 might be just new but when it comes to preserving the privacy of its users, it seems like it's already matured enough as a good mobile operating system.