Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making a significant change with iOS 6 which will ensure the privacy of their users. Their new update will prompt users for permission before accessing their private data.
Earlier this year, congress and non-profit advocacy groups learned that many mobile apps uploaded personal data(including entire contact lists) on servers without the permission of users. Apple made an official response that agreed it was a violation and mentioned their future plans of changing the way their apps collect data.
The security section of the release notes indicate the iOS now protects calendars, contacts, reminders, and photos. It also states that users will be prompted by access dialogs whenever an app tries to acquire information. Alternatively, the user could also switch those settings to on or off in their privacy settings. If developers want to encourage the usage of their apps, they could set up an API that set a “purpose string that is displayed to users to help them understand why their data is being requested.”
Apple wasn’t the only company who got in trouble over keeping personal data safe. LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) also got in trouble for sending info from the iOS calendar entries back to their servers in pure text and when “OS X Mountain Lion beta the company began requiring apps to get permission to access user’s address book information.”
iOS 6won’t be released to the public until this fall. It’s also speculated that Apple will release the highly anticipated iPhone 5 around that time as well.
This whole privacy debacle is probably an embarrassment for Apple but at least they’re trying to do something about it now. Unfortunately, if Apple(or any other company for that matter) didn’t hear hear complaints from everyone, I highly doubt that they would have made the change. All companies should know that it’s important to keep customer privacy in mind.