iOS 15.5 has a bunch of privacy features that not enough people know about


iOS 15.5 has a bunch of privacy features that not enough people know about

Many people want a better grip on privacy and security, and with iOS 15, Apple took several important steps to boost privacy for iPhone. iOS 15 arrived in September and Apple has rolled out a handful of updates since then. The latest version is iOS15.5. (Here is How to check if your iPhone can run iOS 15 and how to download it.)

within a few weeks, Apple hosts WWDCits annual conference for software developers, at the iOS 16 is expected to be revealed. The successor to iOS 15 will likely be in beta by fall, which means now is the time to tweak and adjust your privacy settings in iOS 15.5.

Once you have downloaded the latest version of the operating system, you will have access to the new version from Apple FaceTime Features let that go for the first time Android and PC users participate. You get too iMessage improvements making it easier to follow links and photos sent by your friends. And there’s access to many new privacy and security features. If you’re one of the billions of people who use an iPhone, it’s worth checking out the privacy updates available in iOS 15.5 and changing your settings right away.

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In short, the privacy changes in iOS 15.5 give you better control over the data you share with third parties and how apps use data from your iPhone. In some cases, these privacy tools may limit the collection of your personal information. While these privacy updates don’t drastically change your day-to-day experience with your iPhone, except perhaps in the case of Siri, they do change how your Apple device interacts with the internet and third parties looking for your personal information.

Keep in mind that Apple has long used privacy as a selling point to differentiate itself from competitors like Google and Facebook. Although the Cupertino, California-based company has criticized the protection of consumer data from digital advertisers and internet service providers, it has also reportedly strengthened its own search ads business and hired (and then fired) a former Facebook ad executive..

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There’s also a catch: most of the new privacy features are available for free, but not all. In order to use certain features, you either need to own a newer iPhone or plunk down some money buy a new latest iPhone.

These privacy changes have roiled digital advertisers and even journalists behind popular newsletters, but they’re good for you, whatever Apple’s motives may be.

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Does Siri pass my voice data to the cloud in iOS 15?

According to Apple, iOS 15.5 addresses one of the biggest privacy concerns for voice assistants. Unlike Amazon Alexa and virtually every other competitor, Siri no longer sends your audio to servers for processing. Instead, the sound of your voice is processed directly on your iPhone thanks to on-device speech recognition.

Apple said iPhones and iPads will use the processing power of Apple devices to analyze speech, meaning Siri no longer needs an active internet connection to function.

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For you, this means Siri will respond to basic commands like setting an alarm, setting a reminder, or launching an app while you’re offline. This update doesn’t include asking Siri to search the web for anything.

Aside from the improved privacy, Apple says Siri’s response time is faster for some requests because audio processing can now be done offline.

There’s a catch. Only iPhones and iPads with an A12 Bionic chip or newer can use Siri’s on-device audio processing.

How do I know which apps are accessing my data and phone sensors?

If you were a fan of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature, you’ll probably love the App Privacy Report, too. The report, which includes a page from Safari’s playbook, is a new section accessible in Settings that gives you an overview of how apps are handling your privacy. You can see when individual apps are requesting access to the camera or microphone, and you can also see where or with whom your data may have been shared in the last seven days. All of this brings an extra layer of transparency to iOS 15.5.

A speaker at the WWDC 2021 keynote launching the App Privacy Report

Apple gave us our first look at the iPhone’s App Privacy Report during WWDC 2021.


What is email privacy and how does it stop tracking?

Apple’s mail privacy feature is built into the default Mail app on your iPhone. It limits the amount of data senders collect when you open their promotional emails or even newsletters. In particular, the feature offers you the option of hiding your IP address so that it cannot be linked to other online activities or used to determine your location. This feature blocks spam email marketers from learning more about your email or web activity.

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This is how Apple described it:

In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection prevents senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activities or used to determine their location.

Apple also said that Safari obfuscates your IP address.

Is iCloud Plus Private Relay similar to a VPN?

Paid iCloud Plus subscribers get a few new privacy features. One of them is Safari’s Private Relay tool, which hides your browsing behavior from advertisers and ISPs. It does this by encrypting the traffic leaving your iPhone so it can’t be intercepted by a third party or Apple, preventing them from reading what you’re looking for.

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The second feature is called Hide My Email. If you’re an iCloud Plus subscriber, your iPhone can generate a random email address when you sign up for memberships or retail accounts. Hide My Email forwards anything sent to the “wrong address” to your real email address. Essentially, Hide My Email scrubs your messages from a retailer so they don’t know your actual email address. The idea is that fewer companies have access to people’s direct email addresses.

Now that you have your iPhone privacy in order, Read Beyond Basic iPhone: Tweak Your iOS 15 Settings Like a Power User.

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