“How to Read Your iOS 15 App Privacy Report”
WIRED, January 9, 2022
By Lily Hay Newman
“Your iPhone now gives you lots of transparency into what your downloads are up to. Here’s what to look out for.”
It’s broadly safe to download a mainstream app from the iOS App Store or Android’s Google Play. But thanks to increasingly invasive tracking by Facebook and others, Apple and Google have both recently introduced transparency features into iOS and Android that give you more insight into how often apps access data and sensors, from your camera and microphone to your location and contacts. If you’re an iOS user, the App Privacy Report tool likely hit your phone a few weeks ago. Here’s how to get the most out of it.
The first step to using the feature, which launched as part of iOS 15.2, is simply to turn it on in Settings > Privacy > App Privacy Report. From then on, as you use your phone the tool will record details about what your apps are up to for a rolling seven-day period. All the app activity information is stored locally on your phone, and if you turn App Privacy Report off, the data will delete from your device.
Your report is broken down into four sections: Data & Sensor Access, App Network Activity, Website Network Activity, and Most Contacted Domains.
About the Author:
Lily Hay Newman is a senior writer at WIRED focused on information security, digital privacy, and hacking. She previously worked as a technology reporter at Slate magazine and was the staff writer for Future Tense, a publication and project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University. Additionally her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Fast Company, IEEE Spectrum, and Popular Mechanics. She lives in New York City.