Apple’s recent release of iOS 17 has left some iPhone users concerned and confused.
Reports suggest that specific privacy settings are altered without notification or consent when users update their devices to iOS 17.
This unexpected behavior has drawn the attention of security-focused iOS developers and raised questions about user privacy implications.
Two iOS developers, collectively known as Mysk, specializing in security and privacy matters, have warned iPhone users about the iOS 17 update.
They discovered that, in some cases, iOS 17 enables significant locations and iPhone analytics options, even if users had previously disabled these features.
The issue has been corroborated by several users across social networks like X (formerly known as Twitter) and Mastodon.
It’s important to note that not all users have experienced this behavior during the iOS 17 update.
The significant locations and iPhone analytics options are enabled by default.
Hence, users who had previously disabled them on their devices understandably find it disconcerting when these settings revert without their knowledge.
Apple clarifies that “significant locations are end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple.”
This feature allows the iPhone and connected iCloud devices to learn essential locations to provide location-related information in apps like Maps, Calendar, and Photos.
iOS 17 Update Raises iPhone Privacy Concerns
Regarding iPhone analytics, Mysk cautions that having location information in these analytics reports could have privacy implications, even if the pieces do not identify individual users.
They noted on Mastodon that patterns of visited locations could lead to identifying individuals.
However, this concern primarily applies to targeted individuals, not most iPhone users.
Regardless of the level of risk involved, many users would understandably feel uncomfortable with Apple changing their privacy and security configurations without their consent during an operating system update.
While there is no clear pattern for which users are affected by this issue, verifying your settings for peace of mind is essential.
To check your settings, navigate to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services.
If you have previously disabled significant locations or iPhone analytics and find they have been re-enabled, you can adjust them according to your preferences.
The unexpected alteration of privacy settings during the iOS 17 update has raised concerns among iPhone users.
While Apple has stated that the changes pose minimal risk to most users, the incident highlights the importance of vigilance regarding personal privacy and device settings.
Users are encouraged to review their backgrounds to ensure they align with their preferences and comfort levels.
Additionally, whether Apple will provide further clarification or a solution for those affected by this issue remains to be seen.