Digital privacy is a perennial hot topic these days, and Apple is regarded as being at the forefront of security when it comes to smartphone and tablet operating systems. For example, for an app to access your iPhone or iPad's camera, camera and microphone access must be enabled for the app in question in the Settings app.
Social media apps will often ask you for access to your device's camera or microphone when you first launch them, which is fair enough if you want to record and share audio and video on these platforms.
However, Facebook and Instagram have both been found guilty of accessing device cameras in the background when the apps are in use. Therefore, in response to legitimate concerns, Apple in iOS 14 added a new security feature to indicate when an app does exactly this.
- Green dot means an iOS app is currently using the camera.
- Orange dot means an iOS app is currently using the microphone.
When an app is using either the camera or the microphone on your iPhone or iPad, a small dot will appear in the status bar just above the WiFi and cellular signal bars.
If you close the app using the camera or microphone and then open the Control Center, there will be a camera or microphone icon along with the name of the app that was recently using the feature. In this way, recording indicators prevent the camera or microphone from being accessed by an app in the background without your knowledge, so you can be sure that apps aren't sneakily recording conversations or videos.