iPhone Privacy and How to Improve it

Approx Reading Time: 9 minutes

Apple revolutionized the smartphone industry with its iPhone and to this day iPhone’s remain synonymous with premium Smartphone experience. iPhone’s hardware and software are built around the privacy and security of the user and provide the highest level of privacy in the smartphone world. With that being said your iPhone contains some of the most sensitive pieces of your personal information and most privacy oriented iPhone users are curious about how iPhone privacy works and what they can do to improve the level of their iPhone’s privacy. Some commonly asked iPhone privacy related questions users ask are as follows:

How does the iPhone deals with user privacy?

iPhone handles user privacy by providing data self destruct feature, building secure hardware and software, using data encryption, and meditating app access.

How can you improve your privacy if you use an iPhone?

You can improve your iPhone’s privacy by enabling password reuse auditing, checking and removing app permission, changing your iPhone’s default search engine, and setting your iPhone to self destruct if stolen.

How can you get your information removed from the iPhone?

You can use your iPhone’s settings to remove your data.

How can you find out what information iPhone has about you?

Apple collects a certain amount of data about you from your iPhone and you can download a copy of your shared data from Apple.

Does the iPhone tell who they share your data with?

iPhone privacy is governed by Apple and Apple shares user data with service providers and legal entities.

Can iPhone remove your information from third parties?

Your iPhone data is handled by Apple and Apple can’t remove your data from third parties.

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As it is clear from the above-mentioned answers that your iPhone is pretty secure but it is still necessary to keep your iPhone secure from your end and know the controls you have over your iPhone data. And in this article, we will answer all your iPhone privacy answers in detail so keep reading.

How does the iPhone deals with user privacy?

Apple as a company has built its reputation on security and privacy-oriented products. And iPhone is no exception in fact for the majority of users default iPhone security and privacy features are enough for dealing with any privacy threat. Some ways iPhone deals with user privacy include: 

● Providing data self destruct feature:

Everyone has some private information on their iPhone that they don’t want anyone finding out about. And if you have such sensitive data in your iPhone provides you with a feature that you can turn on that will prompt your iPhone to wipe out your data in case your device gets stolen. If someone tries to access your iPhone with 10 wrong passcode entries your iPhone will reset itself and remove every single piece of information from its memory. This feature makes your iPhone as private as possible even if someone steals it.    

● Building secure hardware and software:

iPhone hardware is designed with privacy in mind that is why iPhone’s physical components support the privacy features that software provides. By building security features in hardware the iPhone provides its users with some of the most secure smartphones in the market today. Your iPhone protects your data with a combination of features built into both the software and hardware which makes an iPhone virtually impossible to break in and steal information from.

● Using data encryption:

The data you store in your iPhone is encrypted to add a layer of data privacy in case someone tries to remotely access your device. By encrypting your data an iPhone keeps user data secure even if all the other security measures fail. Encryption is a process of converting data into a nonreadable form so that an unauthorized device or machine can not access or read your data by tapping into your iPhone.

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● Meditating app access:

Your iPhone ensures that apps and services you use on your iPhone can not access the resources of your phone without your permission. Not to mention you can only download apps on your iPhone from the official app store to prevent accidental downloading of harmful applications.   

How can you improve your privacy if you use an iPhone?

Your iPhone provides you with a secure platform to store and access your data but as a user, you can take further steps to improve the level of privacy for your iPhone. You can tighten your iPhone security by:

● Enabling password reuse auditing:

If you have an iPhone with iOS 12 and above you can turn on password reuse auditing to avoid using the same password for multiple websites and apps. Reusing passwords for multiple platforms puts all your accounts at risk because if one of your accounts gets hacked the hackers can use the password from the hacked account to access every single account you have on other websites and services. And if you are using the same passwords for accessing services and apps on your iPhone it also puts your iPhone at risk.

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You can turn on password reuse auditing by going into the settings of your iPhone and then tapping on “Passwords & Accounts”. You will be asked to provide your passcode, touch id, or face id to access this feature and inside this section, you will find the list of apps or services you use. And the apps and services in the list that contain a warning sign next to them are the ones that you have reused your password on and you can tap on the warning symbol to change the password for that service or app directly.

● Checking and removing app permissions:

Apps you download on your iPhone can access certain data and resources. But you might have allowed too much access to certain apps then they should have. You can check and remove unnecessary permissions for apps by going into settings and tapping on the “Privacy” option. Here you will find all the different resources and data your iPhone holds. And by clicking on each resource/data you can find a list of the apps that have access to that certain resource.

Review each of the resource and the apps that have access to that resource and remove all the apps that you don’t think should access a specific resource or data. For example, it doesn’t make sense for a torch app to have access to your iPhone’s location or contacts so it is best to remove these unnecessary accesses for such apps.  

● Changing your iPhone’s default search engine:

Your iPhone comes with the Safari browser and Google is the default search engine for web searches within safari. Google is not the most privacy oriented company in the world and it is known to track and collect data about users. Luckily you can change the default search engine of your iPhone’s Safari browser to a search engine that is a bit less nosy and data-hungry like DuckDuckgo or Yahoo. To do that simply go to your iPhone’s settings and tap on Safari. In the next menu select “Search Engine” and select a search engine other than Google.  

● Setting your iPhone to self to destruct if stolen:

As mentioned above your iPhone gives you the ability to delete all of its data in case someone enters the wrong passcode 10 times. You can turn this feature on just in case your iPhone gets stolen. To enable this data erasing feature simply go to settings of your iPhone and tap on “Face ID & Passcode” and scroll to the bottom of the menu to turn on the switch next to “Erase Data”.

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How can you get your information removed from the iPhone?

You can use the settings of your iPhone to remove all of your data fairly easily in few simple steps. Simply go to the settings of your iPhone and tap on the “General” option. By the bottom of the General settings you will find the “Reset” option tap on it and from the next menu select “Erase All Content and Settings”. To confirm you want to erase all of your iPhone data tap on “Erase Now” and provide your iPhone’s passcode.

How can you find out what information iPhone has about you?

Apple collects certain data from your iPhone through your Apple account and all of this information is accessible to the owner of the Apple account. You can download your Apple account data by going to https://privacy.apple.com/ and logging in with your Apple account information and click continue. Next check the “Select All” option to select all the information Apple has about your account or only select your iPhone linked data such as device information, repair requests, and AppleCare support and click “Continue”. Choose the size of the file containing data that you can easily download and click “Complete request”. Your data will be available for download within 7 days from the same Apple privacy portal that you requested it from.   

Does the iPhone tell who they share your data with?

Your iPhone data is collected through your Apple account and therefore all of your collected data is governed by Apple’s broader privacy policy. Apple clearly mentions in their privacy policy that they share user data with:

● Service providers:

Apple outsources certain functions of their company to third party service providers that handle certain functions on behalf of Apple. Some examples of service providers might be shipping companies that ship Apple products, customer service providers that handle warranty claiming and other support matters, etc. And Apple shares a certain amount of user data with these service providers to facilitate their functions.

● Legal entities:

Apple might share user data with the courts or law enforcement on court order or as per the law of the state. Apple may also share user data with the government if it is absolutely necessary.

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Can iPhone remove your information from third parties?

iPhone is an Apple product and therefore only Apple can remove or modify data collected from a certain iPhone. And since the third parties we mentioned above don’t comply with Apple’s privacy policy you can’t expect Apple to get your data removed from the third parties.