Who wants information from you? Everybody. Well, everybody online. That explains why websites have dozens of trackers hiding in the background. That explains why applications continually hound you to get access to information from your device.
Here’s a good example for iPhone and iPad users.
Open Settings, scroll down to Privacy and tap. What you get is a list of Apple applications; Contacts, Calendar, Photos, Health, Camera, Microsoft, and so on. Apple ensures that third party applications cannot use those apps for data gathering without your permission.
Let’s take Contacts as my first example. Why Contacts? Because that app contains a list of information that advertisers and trackers would love to exploit. They do.
Tap on Contacts and you get a list of all the apps that have been given permission to use Contacts. I had an even dozen– from Airmail to ETA, from Spark to Skype, from Emergency to Signal.
Tap on Calendars and you get a list of apps that have access to your calendar information. I had Fantastical, ETA, and ShortCuts.
See how that works?
For Reminders, I allowed sharing with Drafts, Fantastical, and Spark.
Photos, Microphone, and Camera will scare the bejesus out of you. In Photos alone I had over two dozen apps with permission to use Photos, but Apple gives you more controls. Some apps can read and write to Photos, others can merely add to Photos. Likewise, Camera app has a similarly long list thanks to my penchant for camera app collecting, but even apps like UPS and Pokemon GO want camera access.
Here’s the scariest one of all. Health.
Apple’s Health app is popular. Apps such as Cardiogram, Google Fit, Lose It!, MapMyWalk, Shortcuts, and many others want to read and save data to Health.
Surprisingly, I had half a dozen apps get permission to access Media and Apple Music on my iPhone. That included Audible, Seconds Pro exercise app, Shortcuts, and the 7Minute Workout app. Even Google Assistant asked for permission.
Yes, Apple gives you the option to allow or not allow specific apps to access information on iPhone and iPad but checking the list from time to time might yield a surprise or two. In the Motion and Fitness category I was surprised to see Google’s Waze app.
Listen, we live in troublesome times and as a capitalist world, it needs to be understood that everyone is out to get your money, and sometimes they do that by taking personal information and using it to make money. In exchange, you get to use a free or inexpensive app.
Apple gives you controls. Make sure to exercise that control.