Apple Introduces New Privacy Features with iOS 7

Apple Introduces New Privacy Features with iOS 7

With all the excitement around the launch of the new iPhone and iOS 7, we thought it would be interesting to highlight some new privacy-specific features. Some of these have been introduced as part of the iOS 7 software; others, like the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, are specific to the new iPhone. Here are some new privacy features worth noting:

Limitations on Tracking

No MAC address or UDID tracking

iOS 7 restricts developers’ ability to track users using MAC addresses and UDIDs. This is a technical change; developers trying to access a MAC address are shown an identical number for every device. While the App Store has not accepted new apps that access UDIDs since May, iOS 7 now provides a Vendor Identifier (a unique per-developer identifier) to existing applications accessing the UDID.

Safari privacy

In iOS 7, Safari’s “Private” mode can now be enabled from within the browser itself. Safari’s Do Not Track setting is in Settings > Safari. Enabling private browsing will also turn on Do Not Track for that session.

Limit Ad Tracking 

When Apple advised developers not to use device IDs for tracking, it provided an alternative Advertising Identifier that users could clear. This option is now more visible; it resides under Settings > Privacy > Advertising, rather than under the About section. Users can also find the option to limit ad tracking in the Advertising section.

Other Privacy Features

Touch ID

The new iPhone allows users to unlock the phone using a biometric fingerprint scanner. The phone does not store an image of the fingerprint, but instead stores a mathematical representation of your fingerprint. This information is stored only on the device within an advanced security architecture called the Secure Enclave. Fingerprint data is never accessed by iOS or other third party apps, never stored on Apple servers, and never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else.

Find My iPhone Activation Lock

Find My iPhone now has an ‘Activation Lock,’ requiring a correct Apple ID and password to turn off Find My iPhone or erase the device. Even if the device is erased, reactivating it also requires a correct Apple ID and password.

Frequent Locations

Frequent Locations is a visualization of information that the iPhone collects regarding places you’ve been and how often. This information is kept solely on the device unless a user opts-in to improve Apple Maps, in which case some locations may be submitted in an anonymous form.

Security Features

iOS 7 also debuts data isolation for the microphone and motion detector worldwide. Additional security features are discussed in greater detail in this article.

We’re excited to see these features implemented and look forward to the launch.

Leave a Reply


Privacy Calendar

Oct
30
Thu
9:00 am The Privacy Act @40: A Celebrati... @ Georgetown Law
The Privacy Act @40: A Celebrati... @ Georgetown Law
Oct 30 @ 9:00 am – 5:30 pm
The Privacy Act @40 A Celebration and Appraisal on the 40th Anniversary of the Privacy Act and the 1974 Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act October 30, 2014 Agenda 9 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome[...]
Nov
7
Fri
all-day George Washington Law Review 201... @ George Washington University Law School
George Washington Law Review 201... @ George Washington University Law School
Nov 7 – Nov 8 all-day
Save the date for the GW Law Review‘s Annual Symposium, The FTC at 100: Centennial Commemorations and Proposals for Progress, which will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2014, in Washington, DC. This year’s symposium, hosted in[...]
Nov
11
Tue
10:15 am You Are Here: GPS Location Track... @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
You Are Here: GPS Location Track... @ Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Nov 11 @ 10:15 am
EFF Staff Attorney Hanni Fakhoury will present twice at the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s Annual Sunny Climate Seminar. He will give a presentation on government location tracking issues and then participate in a panel[...]
Nov
12
Wed
all-day PCLOB Public Meeting on “Definin... @ Washington Marriott Hotel
PCLOB Public Meeting on “Definin... @ Washington Marriott Hotel
Nov 12 all-day
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will conduct a public meeting with industry representatives, academics, technologists, government personnel, and members of the advocacy community, on the topic: “Defining Privacy.”   While the Board will[...]
Nov
20
Thu
all-day W3C Workshop on Privacy and User... @ Berlin, Germany
W3C Workshop on Privacy and User... @ Berlin, Germany
Nov 20 – Nov 21 all-day
The Workshop on User Centric App Controls intents to further the discussion among stakeholders of the mobile web platform, including researchers, developers and service providers. This workshop serves to investigate strategies toward better privacy protection[...]
Dec
2
Tue
all-day IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
IAPP Practical Privacy Series 2014
Dec 2 – Dec 3 all-day
Government and FTC and Consumer Privacy return to Washington, DC. For more information, click here.
Dec
11
Thu
9:00 am Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Progress of the EU Data Protecti...
Dec 11 @ 9:00 am
The EU Member States have agreed to conclude the negotiations on the EU Data Protection draft Regulation in 2015. The process will have arrived at a critical point by the end of this year. The[...]

View Calendar