iOS 6 Privacy Feature: What Is It & How Does It Work?

There’s a lot of debate around the internet over the practicality and future of the Privacy feature introduced in iOS 6. There’s talk about the feature becoming annoying for users as iOS 6 grows, since installation and consequently the first time use of an app that requires access to Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Photos, Bluetooth Sharing, Facebook, Twitter and of course Location Services, will prompt a dialogue box whether the user wants to allow that app access to one or more of those elements. The current buzz around the blogosphere is that this feature may ultimately backfire, but if you ask me, it’s a move bound to be welcomed by iOS users, as it provides them greater control over their devices. Requiring stringent app approval methods for the App Store is one thing, but it’s about time Apple trusted iOS users to make their own calls over Privacy concerns. For more on the Privacy feature and how it actually works, read on!

iOS-6-Privacy

The Privacy pane in iOS 6’s settings itself contains location services, as well as newly-introduced controls for Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Photos and Bluetooth Sharing. Then, there’s also the preferences pane for apps requiring Twitter and Facebook access (if you’ve set them up, that is). Essentially, these are the areas that potential third-party apps might require access to, and not only can you see which app accesses what, but can also turn off access to a particular feature through simple toggles. Needless to say, you may find the app missing some functionality if you turn off something vital, so be advised.

Privacy Featutres iOS 6 Privacy Featutres iOS 6 Privacy Featutres iOS 6

Location Services settings remain as they have always been, so nothing new to see here. You still get to control which app gets access for location services and which do not. We’ve seen this all before so let’s move onto the real, yet controversial deal.


Privacy Feature in iOS 6   

Let’s take a look at the Path, the app that stirred up the whole need for better privacy and protection on iOS devices, with its uploading of users’ contact books to its servers for identification of matching users. It was said to be stealing contacts from the address book, but this time around, the Privacy feature kicked in. Not only did it ask for access to contacts, but access to photos (even though that’s one primary function of Path) can also be denied if you wish to. The purpose here was not to focus on Path, but to give you an idea of how the Privacy feature will kick in by itself on the use of a new app.

Privacy Featutres iOS 6 Privacy Featutres iOS 6 Privacy Featutres iOS 6

Allowed some app access but want to reverse that? Sure no issues. Head over to Settings > Privacy. Here, you can choose if apps can access your contacts, photos, and so on, thereby giving you complete control over the aspects of just one or more apps. Bump, for instance, accesses you Contacts and Photos as well, so whether you want to deny it access to photos or contacts, it’s your call! I’m a huge Android fan, but I have to give credit where it’s due. Even Android 4.1 Jelly Bean hasn’t come up on par with this level of privacy configuration and control, except for maybe custom ROMs, and for certain, different apps found on  the Play Store.


This guide is a part of our guide to new features in iOS 6, which covers the following topics:

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