We’ve all experienced the paranoia that we’re being listened to or watched by our technology, and now Apple has confirmed that some apps might actually be eavesdropping after all.
I’ve thought friends of mine were a bit OTT for putting sticky notes over their webcams because they were worried about this, but it turns out they may have been right in doing so.
As part of its iOS 14 update, Apple will be showing a small dot on your phone screen if an app is using your microphone or camera. If you’re on something like Snapchat or TikTok, this will come as no surprise, as many apps actively use our cameras and mics and we’re fully aware of that. However, this new update will confirm that some apps will be using them without your knowledge.
If an orange dot appears in the top right corner of your screen, it means your microphone is being accessed, while a green dot means your camera is. The feature will work for both Apple apps as well as third party ones, the Independent reports.
Apple have added this to its iOS 14 update in a bid to improve users’ privacy, writing on its website: ‘Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.’
The dots will appear above the phone signal logo each time this arguably invasive breach of privacy is happening. You can then go into your device’s Control Centre to see which apps have used the camera or microphone recently.
The new update was launched on Wednesday, September 16, and boasted several new features as well as ones improving privacy. Apple CEO Tim Cook described iOS 14 as a ‘huge release that will transform the core experience of iPhone.’
Other new features include the ability to pin conversations on iMessage, new Memoji styles and stickers, password monitoring, as well as Siri’s knowledge being updated.
Perhaps one of the most-loved new features will be the compact call notification, which displays incoming calls at the top of the screen, rather than taking over the full display – the stuff of dreams for people who hate answering phone calls.
iOS 14 is compatible with the seventh-generation iPod touch, the second- and first-generation iPhone SE, the iPhone 6s and all the latest iPhones up to the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
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