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In iOS6, Apple has included a new Privacy Settings area where you can determine which of your apps can access and use specific types of information. To access these settings, go to Settings, and Privacy. Here you'll find the various Privacy options you can manage. The first item is Location Services. Essentially, this is the setting that lets apps know where you are. This information is vital for some apps like Maps or the Camera app if you want to be able to geo-tag your photos. Other apps might want your location information just so the app creators can keep stats on their user-base.
And here, you can turn off all location services with this master switch at the top of the screen. And with Location Services off, no apps will be able to access information on your current location. Or you can keep Location Services on and turn it off for specific apps. In the list below, you'll find all the apps that can access location information. Any app, that has used your location within the past 24 hours, will have a gray location icon next to it. Any apps that are currently using your location information will have a purple icon. If you see any apps that you think really don't need your location info, just turn them off.
For example, I'll turn off Photoshop Express. Now the next time you open an app that asks for location information you may get a request to turn this service back on, but you can ignore it if the app works fine without knowing where you are. Let's go back to the main Privacy Settings. The rest of these settings deal with information and services, that apps can request access to. Tapping one of these shows you which apps can access this information and whether or not they currently do. For example, I can tap Photos and here I can see that there is one app that I use, PhotoSync, which currently has permission to access the photos on my device.
If you don't want certain apps to have access to this information, you can turn them off. But in this case, this particular app does need access to my photo library, so I'm going to leave that on. You can do the same with apps that access your Contacts, Calendars, Reminders and even Bluetooth Sharing. You'll also see settings to see which apps can access your Twitter and Facebook accounts if you've set up your accounts on your device. Bear in mind that there are many legitimate reasons for some apps to access all of this information. You may have an app that you can post directly to Twitter from, in which case it will need to have access to your Twitter login information; or you may have an app that can directly send photos you shoot to your friends, in which case it will need to access your contacts and photos.
In most cases when you install an app, you'll see a pop-up message letting you know exactly which settings the app wants to access and you'll be given the choice to allow or disallow it. If you later change your mind, you can come in here to Privacy Settings and change your preferences. Now before I wrap up in here, previously, we looked at the Restriction Settings by going to our General Settings and Restrictions and remember to turn on Restrictions, you have to create a password. And in here you'll find Privacy Settings. Now these are identical to the Privacy Settings we were just looking at.
The difference is that here you can prevent changes from being made to these privacy settings. Again, if you're a parent and you want to make sure your kids can't change these settings, these are where you can restrict those changes. For example, if you don't want any apps accessing the contacts on the phone or iPod without you knowing it, you can go to Contacts, and choose Don't Allow. If you have multiple apps that can access your contacts, you'll see a list of them here and you can choose to make it so specific apps can't access Contacts. So, again, the Privacy Settings here and Restrictions are here if you want to prevent the main Privacy Settings from being changed, but if you're maintaining your own device, you probably don't have to worry about restrictions and you can manage your privacy from the main Privacy Settings area.
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