A Guide to Key iPhone and iPad Data Protection Features

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Apple released iOS 6 in the fall.The latest iPhone and iPad iOS release includes a set of more granular security and privacy permissions for users.  These permissions are now controlled within Settings, under Privacy.

Apple security with iOS has taken a different route than the Android as it is shifting to the a la carte model (granular) , while Android is more binary (all or nothing).

Settings: PrivacyiOS 6 SettingsiOS 6 Settings

Privacy within iOS 6 now controls which applications can access Location Services, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Photos, Bluetooth Sharing, and specific access to Facebook and Twitter. 

Per application access rights to a user’s current location (i.e., location services) was available in earlier versions of iOS, and now the same model extends to additional data sources (i.e., calendar and photos). 

When an application is installed and opened for the first time, the user will get a pop-up if the application can access one or more of the data sources.  If a user consents (Yes, allow), that application access will be added to one of the sections below. 

iOS 6 Settings: Privacy iOS 6 Settings: Privacy

For example, the applications below have access to iPhone Photos.If a user no longer wants to grant access, the user would switch the setting to OFF.   iOS 6 Photo SecurityiOS 6 Photo Security

When an application is launched after install, a decision prompt will appear based on the data needs of the application. The Google Voice application below, is requesting access to local iPhone Contacts. This data is primarily to lookup contacts from within the Google Voice application to make phone calls.  The Google Drive application is requesting access to Photos, as it has an internal photo upload capability.

It’s up to the user to understand the needs of the application and provide a decision around access. 

For example, if your insurance company requested access to Location Services, it might be because you signed up for a service to base rates around driving habits, such as acceleration and deceleration. However, if you never explicitly signed up for such a service, that access shouldn’t be allowed. In the Terms & Conditions of the insurance application, the app might have a condition, “if we find you speeding, we’ll raise your rates.”  Thus allowing location services could actually be detrimental in some cases.

Mikhael Felker is an IT pro who has worked in Defense, Healthcare, High-Tech and Non-Profits. He teaches, writes, and speaks at numerous Southern California venues about technology. 

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