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
126 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
126 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
126 months ago
Yes, I told Facebook to go fly a kite.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kuito Avatar
126 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
126 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
126 months ago
Apple: "No more lawsuits, please?"
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...