Personal Tech | September 21, 2021 3:43 pm

The Best Feature of iOS 15? You Can Track Apps That Are Spying on You.

You'll want to find "Record App Activity" in your settings so you can see what your installed apps are sharing

A photo illustration of Apple iOS 15, which has new privacy features, showing an iPhone with the number 15 and the Apple logo in the background
The just-released iOS 15 has several new privacy features.
Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you’re unsure how much apps are digging into your personal data, Apple has a new solution for you. Get ready to embrace Record App Activity, a somewhat hidden feature on the new iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 mobile operating systems.

As reported by ZDNet, the new iOS update allows users to see what their installed apps are doing with your location data, photos, camera, microphone and the domains the apps are communicating with.

You have to turn on this feature, however. It’s simply going to Settings > Privacy and then scrolling down to Record App Activity and turning it to “on.” This will record a seven-day summary of what your apps are doing.

screen of App Privacy Report, a new feature on iOS 15. With App Privacy Report, users can see how often each app has used the permission they’ve previously granted to access their location, photos, camera, microphone, and contacts during the past seven days.
New privacy and app activity reports allow have arrived on iOS15
Apple

As Apple’s developer’s site notes: “The system keeps a record — stored only on the user’s device — of the last seven days of app activity.”

Other privacy features introduced in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey and watchOS 8 include Mail Privacy Protection (which stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user), an enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention (which now hides a user’s IP address from trackers), processing of audio of Siri requests only locally on your devices, and iCloud’s Private Relay feature (which makes all traffic leaving a user’s device encrypted).