iOS 17 Privacy Settings Issue: What You Need to Know

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Some users report that iOS 17 changed their privacy settings without permission

Apple released iOS 17 last week, bringing new features and improvements to its operating system for iPhone models. However, some users have reported that the update also changed their existing privacy settings without their consent. Apple says it is investigating the issue and reaffirms its commitment to user privacy.

According to Mysk, a pair of developers and security researchers, some users who upgraded to iOS 17 found that the Significant Locations and iPhone Analytics options were switched back on, even though they had turned them off before. These options are located in Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services, and they allow Apple to collect and use location data for various purposes.

Mysk posted on X about this issue and warned users to check their privacy settings after updating to iOS 17. They also claimed that having these options on could have privacy implications, as they record detailed information about the locations users visit frequently and include them in analytics reports that are sent to Apple.

Apple says it is looking into the issue and that it does not read user data

Apple confirmed to 9to5Mac that these user settings should not change after updating to iOS 17. The company says that it is looking into the issue and that it will fix it in a future update. Apple also reiterated its commitment to user privacy and said that it does not read or access user data without permission.

iOS 17 Privacy Settings Issue

Apple explained that Significant Locations are end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple. This feature is used to provide personalized services and suggestions based on the places users visit, such as predictive traffic routing, app recommendations, Memories in the Photos app, and more. Users can view and delete their location history at any time.

As for iPhone Analytics, Apple said that it uses this data to improve its products and services, and that it does not identify individual users or devices. Users can opt out of sharing this data with Apple at any time. Apple also said that it does not sell user data to third parties or use it for advertising purposes.

How to check and change your privacy settings on iOS 17

If you have updated to iOS 17, you may want to check your privacy settings and make sure they are as you left them. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services.
  • Scroll down and tap on Significant Locations. You may need to enter your passcode or use Face ID to access this option.
  • Here you can see a list of places you have visited and how often. You can also tap on a place to see a map and more details. If you want to turn off this feature, toggle the switch at the top. You can also clear your location history by tapping on Clear History at the bottom.
  • Go back to the System Services menu and tap on iPhone Analytics. Here you can see if this option is on or off. If you want to turn it off, toggle the switch at the top. You can also tap on the blue link at the bottom to learn more about how Apple uses this data.

You can also check and change other privacy settings on iOS 17, such as app tracking transparency, microphone and camera access, clipboard notifications, and more. To learn more about these settings, you can visit Apple’s privacy website.

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