Apple will tell you how often your apps access your GPS coordinates

Apple is currently testing a tool to strengthen the privacy of iPhone and iPad owners. The privacy report in the latest beta of the system forces apps to be more transparent about how they share your personal data.

Apple continues to position itself as an advocate for privacy. After the arrival of the Tracking Transparency App on iOS 14.5, the company is experimenting with other tools to better inform Internet users about the protection of their personal data.

In the beta of iOS 15.2, which should arrive for the general public in the coming weeks, Apple has integrated a feature presented during the last WWDC: the app privacy report.

MAKE APPLICATIONS MORE TRANSPARENT

The purpose of this tool is to tell you more about the information shared by your different applications. The interface lists all your apps and offers a summary of the personal data they access for each. It is possible to see when an app last requested access to GPS coordinates when an app activated the microphone or camera in the last seven days. Third party domains joined by the application are also listed.

This last piece of data is probably the most interesting, but the most technical. The list of URLs detailed in the privacy report is not limited to the site that you might have visited within the application, it also contains all the ancillary sites that you connect to each time you launch an application.

Par exemple, si vous vous lancez Facebook, l’application établira une connexion avec le site www.facebook.com, mais aussi avec tous les autres sites qui affichent de la publicité dans votre flux d’actualité. Même chose pour les jeux gratuits. Pour afficher le bandeau de publicité, l’application est obligée d’établir une connexion avec le site de sa régie publicitaire. C’est ces sites tiers qui sont, entre autres, listés dans ce rapport de confidentialité. Ces connexions peuvent en dire long sur vous, puisqu’il est possible de récolter des informations concernant votre appareil en affichant une simple pub.

EDUCATE INTERNET USERS IN TRACKING

By making all these discreet connections visible, Apple wants to educate Internet users on the real activity of the applications installed on their smartphones. Each connection to a third-party server can be an opportunity to establish an advertising profile on the owner of the device. It’s not possible, unfortunately, to block connections to these third-party servers from Apple’s tool, but at least it gives an idea of ​​which apps are the most intrusive.

It is also not possible to stop access to GPS directly from the privacy report. But if an app is accessing GPS location without you realizing it, you can always turn it off from the Settings app.

If you are in the system beta, the privacy report can be activated in the Privacy section of the Settings app. The feature will arrive on all compatible iPhones (and iPads) in the coming weeks. Unless there is an outcry from app developers, who might fear that the tool will portray them in an unfavorable light (this has happened until recently) .

Despite the appearance of a notch on the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros, Apple has not seen fit to add its FaceID facial recognition module to its new computers. For the brand, the fingerprint sensor is enough.

One of the most visible new features of the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro is the presence of a notch on the screen. Following the trend launched by the iPhone, Apple has integrated the webcam of its new computers in a “notch” which allows you to enlarge the screen surface. Unlike those of iPhones on the other hand, the MacBook notch is not used to host a Face ID facial recognition module, to the regret of some.

TOUCH ID MORE SUITABLE THAN FACE ID ON MACBOOK PROS

In an article published on October 29, 2021, by the Wall Street Journal, Apple product managers explained this technical decision. Tom Borger, Apple’s vice president of marketing for Macs and iPods, explained to the English-speaking media that Touch ID (the fingerprint sensor made in Apple) is more relevant on MacBooks because, on a computer, we already have our hands on the keyboard. According to the manager, this biometric authentication method is therefore sufficient, no need to add facial recognition.

On this point, Apple differs from Microsoft, which supports facial recognition on some PCs thanks to its Windows Hello tool. Unfortunately, recent security breaches have reminded us that this biometric authentication mechanism is not infallible.

The other notable difference that separates MacBook Pros from Windows PCs is Apple’s refusal to integrate a touchscreen into its computers. While touch navigation is present on many Windows machines and many Chromebooks, Apple continues to ship computers without this feature.

NO TOUCHSCREEN ON MACBOOK PROS, BECAUSE THE IPAD DOES THE JOB

According to John Ternus, senior vice president of hardware engineering at Apple, the Macbook Pros don’t need a touchscreen because Apple already makes “ the world’s best touchscreen computer with the iPad. It is totally optimized for that. The Mac is optimized for indirect input. We don’t really have a reason to change that. For the company, its touch pads and computers are complementary and do not necessarily need to mutually inherit their functions. It is for this same reason that an Apple official explained that macOS would probably never arrive on iPads.

In addition, touch screens are generally much more prone to glare and fingerprints than “normal” screens. A not really an ideal cocktail for computers aimed at image professionals. Touch screens mostly use glossy panels (as opposed to matte panels) similar to our smartphones, which are much more sensitive to light. We understand why Apple abstained there too.

Finally, on the delicate issue of repairability, Apple said it “ works ” with approved repair centers, in order to make life easier for those who do not necessarily have access to an Apple Store near their home. The subject of repairability had already re-emerged when the iPhone 13 was released, which had a bug that made screen replacement impossible, except in the Apple Store .

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