OBSCURE IOS 8 PRIVACY SETTINGS
You know how to allow or disallow apps to have access to your contacts and calendar data; you know where to turn on the Do Not Track setting in mobile Safari – but do you know how to keep the phone from storing your frequently visited locations? Here are a few well-hidden privacy settings that you may not know about., but should.
DIAGNOSTICS & USAGE
Near the bottom of the Settings > Location Services > System Services page is the Diagnostics & Usage toggle. Like many software, enabling this allows the phone to monitor what you’re doing and send anonymous data to Apple. This can be a good thing because Apple can use the data to understand how the device is being used, and in turn, improve on it, be it in future hardware or software updates. If you don’t feel comfortable about this, by all means turn it off.
iAd is a mobile advertising platform developed by Apple for its iOS devices. This toggle in the same System Services page determines whether Apple is able to serve you its ads based on your location. If you prefer to keep your location a secret, and don’t mind getting non-targeted ads, you can turn this off. In iOS 8, there is a new Location-based Alerts toggle. We suggest leaving this turned on, as it can be very useful if you do use it (e.g. location-based apps appearing on your lockscreen automatically for further interaction).
LIMIT AD TRACKING
Since we’re on the topic of ads, you’ll notice that under Settings > Privacy > Advertising, there is a rather self-explanatory setting called Limit Ad Tracking. You can turn this on if you don’t want to receive ads related to your interests from iAd. Feel free to reset the advertising identifier; it sorts of removes your ad history and starts you off on a clean slate.
According to Apple, enabling Frequent Locations in the System Services page allows your iOS device to “learn places you frequently visit in order to provide useful location-related information”. If you’re the type that would turn the abovementioned settings off, we reckon you’ll be inclined to turn this one off as well. While we’re at it, we suggest you might as well scroll to the bottom of the page, and enable the Status Bar Icon setting. So whenever an arrow icon appears at your device’s status bar, you’ll know that a location service is asking for your location.