Get Ready to Grant or Deny Permission to Apps That Access Personal Data in iOS 6

Back in February, privacy issues were raised when a blogger discovered that apps such as Path, Twitter etc upload the address book to their servers.

While the developers released updates for their apps to fix the issue, Apple was under pressure from U.S Congressmen to prevent such things from happening again.  Apple promised that in the future, apps that use address book data will have to explicit take permission from users.

Couple of days back, we reported that Apple has added new Privacy settings in iOS 6 that was unveiled at the WWDC 2012 Keynote to address those concerns. But at that time, we were not sure how exactly it worked.

Now we’ve some more information (courtesy MacRumors) on how it works. Starting with iOS 6, apps that access Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Photos need to get explicit user permission.

Users will be prompted with the following dialogue box when apps try to access Contacts, Calendars, Reminders and Photos.

Users can also check, which apps have access to their personal data by navigating to the new privacy settings that are is accessible just below “Brightness & Wallpaper” in the Settings app. The Privacy settings are broken down into four sections such as Contacts, Calendars, Reminders and Photos. Users also have an option to enable or disable access to individual apps via this section.

The new privacy settings should give users better visibility and control on which apps can access their personal data and make the privacy advocates very happy. But it also means that users have to give permission to apps for four more things, which is going to be annoying as we already give permission to an app for the following things in iOS:

  • When it wants to access your location (Apple had to add this due to the location tracking issue last year)
  • When it wants to send you push notification
  • When it wants to integrate with Twitter and with iOS 6 also Facebook
As Rene Richie of iMore had suggested few months back, it probably makes sense if users are prompted to give or deny access at the time of installing an app.
Until that time, please be prepared to get annoyed by those pop-ups.
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