Stop letting iPhone apps access your data. Do this instead

When you first use an iPhone app, you may be prompted to allow the app to access other features on your phone, like your camera. If you’re like me and just want a new app to work, you probably pressed “Allow” without hesitation. However, you may not realize that pressing “Allow” gives the app access to other information about yourself and loved ones.

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These applications could be share your data with digital marketing and advertising technology companies without your knowledge. Companies like Apple and Facebook have faced lawsuits and fines for allegedly misusing customer data.

If you have granted certain permissions to a third-party iPhone app, you can revoke them at any time. Here’s how to stop third-party apps from accessing your data.

How to Change Third-Party App Permissions

Here’s how to change permissions in iOS 16 and later:

1. Faucet Settings on your iPhone.

2. Faucet Privacy and Security.

In Privacy and Security you can select features such as Contacts, Photos, and Camera to see which third-party apps have requested permission to access this information. Tapping Contacts, for example, might indicate that a note-taking app has access to your contact list. You can tap the slider next to these apps to stop access.

More in Privacy & Security

In addition to revoking app permissions in Privacy and Security, you can also customize which apps can access your location data. If you touch Rental services at the top of the menu, you can enable or disable these services for all or some applications on your phone. You can also press the Share my location menu to turn Find My iPhone on or off, as well as the contacts you share your location with.

There is also an option in Privacy and Security called Apple Advertising. Tap it to view Apple’s ad targeting information and enable or disable these personalized ads. Apple said disabling personalized ads will make the ads you see in the App Store, Apple News, and Stocks less relevant to you, but it may not reduce the number of ads you see in those apps.

App Privacy Report in iOS 16

A visit to Instagram after enabling reports showed that the app had contacted four domains.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

You can also activate App Privacy Report from Privacy and Security menu. This report shows how often apps access your data. It also shows each app’s network activity and the web domains the apps are contacting. To activate these reports, press App Privacy Report then touch Enable app privacy report. At first, you won’t see any information, but as you use your apps, the report will fill up. Now you can see which apps are sharing your data the most, and you can take steps to limit the amount of data those apps have access to.

To find out more, see how to stop iphone apps from tracking you, how to use Sign in with Apple to improve your privacy and Best iPhone VPNs.

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