APPS CAN CERTAINLY be nosey. Developers have quickly learned that your phone's many sensors and chips can reveal a lot of data about you, and both Google and Apple are trying to give users more control over how creepy apps can be.
Apple's latest step is a kind of naming and shaming approach. In iOS 13, when an app asks for location permission, you'll not only be told about it, but the resulting pop up will show you a full map of where the app has wanted to check in on you.
As revealed by 9to5Mac, the pop-up will then give you the choice to always allow permission to be granted, or to change it to only be allowed when using it.
To help you make your decision, the app creators will be given a short space to make their case as to why they need to snoop on you. Tesla's, for example, reads: "Tesla uses your location to show your proximity to your vehicle (while the app is open), and to optimise phone key on your support vehicles (while the app is in the background)."
That's a fairly robust explanation, certainly more convincing than "we want to let McDonald's know when you're passing".
There will also be an "allow once" option to give an app temporary access to data. If you take this approach, you'll be prompted for permission the next time the app needs it. Or claims to need it.
Showing a map with all the location requests is an interesting mechanism of making people think about privacy. On one level, everybody knows their phone has a history of where they've been, but it's quite another to see it laid out dot by dot on a map. Developers may have to work a bit harder to get a user's trust in future. µ
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