Apple Requires User Permission Before Apps Can Access Personal Data in iOS 6

Earlier this year, Apple came under fire from consumers advocates and Congress after it was discovered that apps, most notably Path, were uploading users' entire address books to their servers without alerting users or asking for authorization. Path deleted the information, but a pair of U.S. Congressmen sent a letter to Apple asking for information on the company's data collection policies.

More recently, LinkedIn came under fire for transmitting information from iOS calendar entries back to its servers in plain text.

Facebookprivacy
In the OS X Mountain Lion beta, Apple began requiring apps to get explicit permission to access user's address book information, and Apple PR said in February that any iOS app "wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release."

Starting with iOS 6, Apple now requires apps to get explicit user permission before accessing Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, and Photos. From the "Data Privacy" section in Apple's iOS 6 Release Notes:

In addition to location data, the system now asks the user’s permission before allowing third-party apps to access certain user data, including:

- Contacts
- Calendars
- Reminders
- Photo Library

For contact, calendar, and reminder data, your app needs to be prepared to be denied access to these items and to adjust its behavior accordingly. If the user has not yet been prompted to allow access, the returned structure is valid but contains no records. If the user has denied access, the app receives a NULL value or no data. If the user grants permission to the app, the system subsequently notifies the app that it needs to reload or revert the data.

As the iPhone and iPad have grown in popularity, Apple has come under increasing scrutiny over the privacy practices of both Apple and developers participating in the App Store ecosystem. Last year, Senator Al Franken asked both Apple and Google to require app developers to have "clear and understandable" privacy policies.

Apple later agreed to comply with a new California law requiring links to privacy policies in consistent locations and provide a method for users to report apps that do not comply with privacy requirements.

Congress also got involved over the disclosure of location information to app makers, going so far as to introduce a bill that would force companies to get explicit authorization before disclosing the user's location to anyone. Apple now asks the iOS users if Location Services should be enabled during the initial setup process.

iOS 6 is currently in beta and is expected to be publicly released this fall.

Top Rated Comments

paradox00 Avatar
121 months ago
Android has always done this. Fail

No it hasn't. You're told what the app has access to when you install it,you can't opt in or out of parts later.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Flitzy Avatar
121 months ago
Android has always done this. Fail
This line of thinking is stupid.

I don't use Android. I couldn't care less what they do or don't do.

If it's added to iOS, then fine. I'm not sitting there going "hm, I'm going to base my like or dislike on this feature based on whether or not a phone I don't even use has".

Get over yourselves, Googlebots and Fandroids.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jonnysods Avatar
121 months ago
Yes, I told Facebook to go fly a kite.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kuito Avatar
121 months ago
I wish it also allowed Developer to have a small description of why Facebook or whatever app wants to access my calendar or whatever. instead of just going "hey they want access to X, okie?" -- it'd just be good to know at least one of the reasons why.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paradox00 Avatar
121 months ago
a lll these security popups in ios6 and mountain lion remind me of

Image (http://www.technosamrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/readyboost-superfetch-and-user-account-controluac-in-windows-vista.jpg)

which apple criticised so heavily in vista.

You're not very creative. I bore of seeing posts like these. The problem with UAC wasn't its existence, it was its implementation. Cancel or allow every single time you launched certain programs with no way for an average user to whitelist a program without completely disabling the security of UAC.

Apple's security features are implemented very differently.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple... Avatar
121 months ago
Apple: "No more lawsuits, please?"
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...