Apple’s iOS 15.2 is finally here, with important security updates and new privacy features for iPhone. The best new iPhone feature to arrive in iOS 15.2, in my opinion, is the long-awaited app privacy report.
Officially launched with iOS 15 in the fall, the app’s privacy report was previously unreadable. That changed in iOS 15.2: Now you can access an easy-to-read report showing which apps have accessed which permissions, as well as revealing which apps are following you on your iPhone.
The IOS 15.2 Application Privacy Report builds on the now infamous Application Tracking Transparency feature, which lets you control who can follow you on websites and other apps. It is also similar to Privacy labels launched in iOS 14, which shows data collected by iPhone apps so you can decide if it’s worth downloading.
One of the really cool things about the app privacy report launched in iOS 15.2 is that it gives you the ability to revoke any permissions that apps don’t need. It’s fair to say that if a weather app continues to access your iPhone’s camera, it’s a good idea to remove the app or revoke the permission immediately.
How to find and use the iOS 15.2 app privacy report
So you are probably looking forward to seeing your report as soon as possible. The first step is simple: if you haven’t already, download and install iOS 15.2 through your Settings> General> Software Update and follow the instructions.
Once you’re using iOS 15.2, go to Settings> Privacy and scroll down for the app privacy report. Select Enable app privacy reporting.
You will then have to use your iPhone for a while as usual to accumulate enough data on the apps you use to review.
IOS 15.2 app privacy report explained
The top section of the iOS 15.2 app privacy report, Access to Data and Sensors, shows which apps have accessed iPhone permissions, such as your camera, location, or microphone, and when they did it.
As you can see in the screenshot, my Mail app accessed my contacts which is good considering that it needs to do so in order for me to send an email. The weather app is accessing my location, but I’ve given it permission to access the weather for my area. So some permissions make sense, but if the Mail app got to my location, I would revoke that permission pretty brutally.
The next section, App Network Activity, shows which domains an iPhone app contacted and when. Apps contact domains to perform tasks such as delivering your emails or connecting to other devices for video calls. Certain domains contacted by an app may be necessary to perform its task, but apps can also send your data to ad networks to target advertising.
Meanwhile, website network activity displays the domains contacted by websites you visited through your web browser in an iPhone app. Finally, the most visited domains show the domains contacted by all your apps and websites that you have gone to in those apps.
Apple says the iOS 15.2 App Privacy Report highlights domains that multiple apps have contacted as they could collect your data and combine it to create a profile to target you with advertisements. Looking through this section, as I did, you might find that there are many domains that are related to Google.
Why you should use the iOS 15.2 app privacy report
What are you waiting for? Apple’s iOS 15.2 comes with new iPhone features like the ability to hide your email directly from the Mail app, as well as updates to Find My to identify which devices might be following you. .
It also has security upgrades for iPhone, so take into account the brilliant app privacy rating and updating to iOS 15.2 is really a no-brainer. It’s super easy to use, and revoking permissions and removing apps will dramatically improve your iPhone’s privacy.