Apple's new iOS update will warn you when apps try to track your location or personal data

  • Apple is rolling out new privacy features in the next iPhone update that will warn you when apps are tracking your location or other personal information.
  • The privacy tools will let people control how much information they share with apps, and will provide a breakdown of "Data Linked to You" and "Data Used to Track You."
  • However, Apple will still allow apps to track you without permission if they do so in a way that can't be linked to your identity.
  • The new features will be included in iOS 14, which will be released later this year.

Apple will soon make it easier for people to see how iPhone apps are tracking their location and personal information — and cut off access to that tracking.

The next version of iPhone software, iOS 14, will include new privacy features that show an itemized list of data that people's apps are gathering, including location data, financial information, browsing history, and camera and microphone recordings. Apple announced the new features at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which was held remotely on Monday.

"For food, you have nutrition labels," Apple user privacy manager Erik Neuenschwander said. "So we thought it would be great to have something similar for apps. We're going to require each developer to self-report their practices."Advertisement

Before people download apps from the app store, iOS 14 will let them see an itemized list of data the apps would collect, broken down into "Data Linked to You" and "Data Used to Track You." In order for apps to access that data, users will have to opt in — previously, Apple required users to opt out in order to avoid such tracking.


And for apps that track location, users will be given a new option to only share their approximate location rather than their exact coordinates.

In addition to iOS 14, Apple is rolling out new privacy features for the Safari desktop app, which will now show users a list of sites that are tracking them and give them the option to block those sites.

However, the new privacy features won't enable people to shut down data tracking on iPhones entirely. Apple wrote in a blog post for developers that apps will still be allowed to track people without permission as long as they do it in a way that can't be tied back to a person's identity.