How to Control Your iOS App Privacy Settings

Table of Contents

app privacy

More and more apps on your iPhone and iPad require some level of access to your private data. Whether that’s access to the microphone for voice commands or to keep your plane in the air in Dumb Ways to Die app, or access to your contacts so Skype can contact your friends easily.

These apps have all sorts of access and it’s about time you take control of them and verify what apps are accessing what data.


SEE ALSO: Is Apple Collecting and Selling Consumer Data?


1. Finding Privacy Settings

Finding your privacy settings is pretty easy actually. You can go about it two ways. First, tap on Settings then Privacy, or even easier, just activate Siri and say:

“Open Privacy Settings”

What you’ll see here is a list of the major access points apps have to your data. Each app that has any level of access will be listed under one of the 7-8 major categories (If you have an iPhone 5S, Motion Activity will also appear).

app privacy settings

You should also notice Facebook and Twitter at the bottom of the list. These show which iOS apps you’ve given permission to access these accounts as well.


SEE ALSO: Apple iBeacon: Cool or Creepy?


2. Updating Privacy Settings

There’s two major reasons you would need to access your Privacy settings. First, you want to limit an app that may have gotten a little over-zealous about what it does, or you accidently denied permissions to an app that you really want to have them.

app privacy microphone

It’s a good idea to perform an audit every month or two by tapping on each category in this list and turning off any apps that you don’t feel need the access they have. For example, if you installed a new game that signed into Facebook and you’re tired of it auto-posting just go into the Facebook section of the Privacy settings and disable that app’s access here. This way, you don’t need to locate the settings in the game itself, which are usually hard to find on purpose.

app privacy settings facebook

Turn off any access that isn’t absolutely necessary, but don’t hesitate to turn them back on if needed. For example, it may seem weird that Evernote has access to your Photos until you realize you can take pictures and load pictures inside of Evernote. Remember that Green is ON and Gray is OFF.


SEE ALSO: iPhoto Alternatives


3. More Privacy Settings

Don’t just stop with app privacy settings, there’s one more privacy setting you should update now if you haven’t yet.

On the main Privacy settings screen, scroll to the very bottom and tap on Advertising.

 app privacy settings ad tracking

On the Advertising screen make sure that Limit Ad Tracking is turned ON. This will stop advertisers from tracking your device. Since Apple uses a non-permanent device identifier for this purpose, it’s a good idea to reset it now too, so any advertiser with your ID will be out of luck.

To reset this, tap on Reset Advertising Identifier, then tap Reset. Now you’re un-trackable when it comes to ads.

Picture of Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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