Stop Third-Party iPhone Apps From Accessing Your Data

When you download and use an app on your iPhone for the first time, you might be bombarded with prompts asking for permission to access other features on your phone like your camera. If you’re like me and just want a new app to work you’ve probably tapped “Allow,” which gives apps access to other information on yourself and those closest to you, more times than you’d like to admit. 

By granting access to this information, those apps could be sharing your data with digital marketing and ad tech companies without your knowledge. Companies like Apple and Facebook have faced lawsuits and fines for allegedly misusing customer data.

Even if you originally granted a third-party iPhone app certain permissions, you can easily revoke them anytime. Here’s what to know.

How to change third-party app permissions

Here’s how to change permissions in iOS 15 and later: 

1. Tap Settings on your iPhone.

2. Tap Privacy.

In the Privacy menu you can select functions like Contacts, Photos and Camera to see which third-party apps have requested permission to access this information. Tapping Contacts might show that a note taking app has access to the names and numbers of people in your contacts list. You can tap the slider next to these apps to halt access.

More in the Privacy menu

In addition to revoking app permissions in the Privacy menu, you can also customize which apps can access your location data. If you tap Location Services near the top of the menu, you can turn these services on or off for all or some apps on your phone. You can also tap the Share My Location menu to enable or disable Find My iPhone, as well as with which contacts you share your location.

There’s also an option in the Privacy menu called Apple Advertising. Tap this to view Apple’s ad targeting information, and turn these personalized ads on or off. Apple said turning personalized ads off will make ads you see in the App Store, Apple News and Stocks less relevant to you, but it might not reduce the number of ads you see in those apps.

For more, check out how to stop iPhone apps from tracking you, how to use Sign In With Apple to improve your privacy and the best iPhone VPNs

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