New Apple iOS 14.5 has new privacy feature to stop tracking online activity

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ST. LOUIS– Have you downloaded the new Apple iOS 14.5 yet? Once you do, you can start benefiting from its new privacy feature called “App Tracking Transparency.”

The feature will crack down on Facebook and other snoopy apps that secretly shadow people on their iPhones in order to target more advertising at users.

Here are some of the highlights from the new iOS features:

Tracking transparency

Once the software update is installed even existing apps already on the device will be required to ask and receive consent to track online activities. That’s a shift Facebook fiercely resisted, most prominently in a series of full-page newspaper ads blasting Apple.

Until now, Facebook and other apps have been able to automatically conduct their surveillance on iPhones unless users took the time and trouble to go into their settings to prevent it — a process that few people bother to navigate.

Scott Schaffer, Chief Information Security Office with Blade Technologies, says if you decline to have an app track you the developer has to honor your decision.

He also says Apps found bypassing this and tracking users without permission will be removed from the App store.

Security Enhancements

The updated iOS also has new security enhancements so you don’t have to give your exact location to apps that request it.

Schaffer says you can toggle the Precise location either on or off. If you allow precise location the GPS can locate you within a meter or two. If you turn off the precise location, the apps won’t know your precise location but within a few-block radius.

Also, if an App asks for permissions to view your photos, you can now specify which photos can be accessed.

Another security enhancement is the control center can tell you exactly which app is accessing your microphone and camera. Schaffer says there is some malware out there that can turn on your mic and record on your phone without you knowing. This feature will allow you to know exactly what is using your mic.

Face ID with a mask

If you are wearing a mask, you iPhone will detect the bottom half of your face is covered. It will then be able able to unlock your iPhone if it is paired with your Apple Watch.

Time to Walk

Apple has enlisted celebrities to go on a virtual walk with you, telling stories that are meant to be inspiring. It also includes the celebrities’ personal music choices as part of the Fitness Plus functionality.

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