iOS 17 users are being warned to check their privacy settings, as they may have been changed without their consent. According to iOS developers and cybersecurity researchers, Mysk, upgrading to iOS 17 may reactivate Significant Locations and iPhone Analytics, even if these features were previously turned off. Significant Locations tracks users’ recent whereabouts, while iPhone Analytics provides Apple with device and app usage data. While the data collected by Significant Locations is encrypted and used for app recommendations and other purposes, Mysk argues that it can still be potentially abused. iPhone Analytics, on the other hand, directly provides Apple with information on device performance and usage.
It remains unclear what is causing this issue, but Apple has stated that it is currently investigating the situation. In the meantime, Mysk advises iOS 17 users to disable both features by accessing the Privacy & Security section of the iPhone Settings and navigating to System Services under Location Services. This appears to be a one-time occurrence, meaning the features should not reactivate a second time.
While this problem can be easily resolved, it raises concerns about the protection of privacy and the potential for inadvertent mishaps that may compromise user data. While iPhones are generally considered secure, the fact that privacy settings can be altered without user consent is alarming. To enhance online security, it is recommended to consider using an iPhone VPN, and TechRadar provides a list of the best options for 2023.