TIPS: Five privacy settings to enable in iOS 7 immediately
Saturday 30 November 2013

TIPS: Five privacy settings to enable in iOS 7 immediately

Here are the lists of five privacy settings you need to do immediately in your iOS7.

I recommend turning OFF the following:

  • Settings → Privacy → Location Services → System Services → Diagnostics & Usage

The Diagnostics & Usage setting monitors everything you do on your iPhone and "anonymously" sends it to Apple for "improving iOS". Whatever, It's just like when all the major software companies changed their install screens from "send usage data" to "customer experience program" or some such  If that option is on you're basically giving Apple your permission to monitor and record everything you do on your device.

  • Settings → Privacy → Location Services → System Services → Frequent Locations

Frequent Locations is equally bad, if not more so. There was a big stir about this when iOS 7 beta 5 was released and the data it captures about your "frequent locations" can be downright creepy. In fact, for many it brought back memories of the Location gate fiasco from iOS 4 in April 2011 when a "database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location was discovered on iOS 4 devices -- and the computers they're backed up to.

  • Settings → Privacy → Location Services → System Services → Location-Based iAds

iAds created its own privacy uproar in June 2010 when a 45-page update to Apple’s privacy policy which detailed how your location information could be used to allow the company – and their "partners and licensees" – to "collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device." The privacy policy has been toned down quite a bit since then and Apple posted a knowledge base article titled "How to opt out of interest-based ads from the iAd network." I turn this off and am happy with "less relevant" ads being shown.


You should also turn ON "Limit Ad Tracking" here:

  • Settings → Privacy → Advertising

...and for bonus points, touch "Reset Advertising Identifier" below that. I wrote about both of these back in January 2013: 


Lastly, you should turn ON:

  • Settings → Safari → Do Not Track 

Apple's one of the few companies that still supports the aging Do Not Track standard in its mobile Web browser. Even if it is considered dead and my colleague here at ZDNet Ed Bott called it "worse that a miserable failure," I turn it on anyway, for the few web servers that actually respect it.