Any app that you download to your device will ask for permission before it accesses the data within your device. If you have agreed to it but then changed your mind, there are ways to improve your privacy settings. We discuss limiting access to the data on your iPhone through the various Apple Privacy Settings in today’s post.

How Privacy On The iPhone Works

Apple keeps a tight grip on its software, vetting every app before it becomes available for download. In addition, it also provides a way for you to disable access to the location, camera, microphone, or other areas of the device that contains data.

Apple Privacy SettingsIf you download an app that needs access to your location, it will prompt you for permission when you first set it up. You will always have to grant permission for new apps manually.

Apple-designed the iOS this way to make it easy for the user to control their personal information. Not all apps will ask for permission for every function they need. For example, if the app needs a keyboard, it will automatically have it. However, apps that require access to sensitive data will always ask for permission.

How To Change An App’s Permissions

You can change the permissions that an app has at any time via the Settings app. Once in the settings, scroll down to the Privacy section. This section will break down by places on the phone that an app might need access to. For example, select the Photos option will display all apps installed that have access to that feature.

Location Services

Selecting the Location Services option under the privacy tab, you will control how apps get your location. There are three options:

  • Never: The app will never have access to your location.
  • While Using the App: The app will only have access to your location when the app is open and in use.
  • Always: The app will be able to access your location, even when it is not open.

There will also be symbols next to the app; these are designed to indicate how they are using your location.

  • Hollow purple arrow: The app will receive your location under certain circumstances.
  • Solid purple arrow: The app has used your location recently.
  • Solid grey arrow: The app had access to your location within the last 24 hours.

Contacts That Have Access To Your Location

Apple gives its users the ability to share their location with other Apple users via iMessage. To view the location, tap on the contact’s name at the top of the conversation. Then select Info and Share My Location and set the duration it will be shared. Your shared location can be reviewed under the Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Next, select Share My Location to see which contacts have access to your location. From here, you can revoke access to your location.


While notifications might not be a big privacy issue, they can be annoying and expose information to anyone who looks at your phone. Head to Settings > Notifications to disable notifications by individual app.


To see what settings Safari is using, head back to Settings > Safari. Safari will limit some tracking, but you can also go a step further by disabling cookies. There will be other options to prevent cross-site tracking, camera/ microphone access, and other features. If you use a different browser, head to that app’s settings to do similar functions.


Within the Privacy menu, there will be options to limit the advertising that advertisers can send you. This includes location services, search history, news, etc. In the Analytics menus, you can choose what information Apple receives from your devices. This information errors, diagnostics, device usages, crashes, and other information.

If you found this article interesting or helpful, check out our other posts!