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How to control which iOS apps have access to your personal data

Ever wonder which apps have access to your contacts or your calendar? Or maybe you tapped the incorrect button when an app asked for permission to access your photos or microphone? Don't stress too much as you can easily change the privacy settings for your data on an app-by-app basis.

Accessing these settings is made easy as they are all included under the Privacy umbrella in the settings app. Just open the settings app on your iPhone or iPad and follow the instructions below:

  • Open the Settings app, scroll down and tap on "Privacy." Alternatively, you can ask Siri to "Show Me My Privacy Settings."
  • You will see a listing for each category of data, including location, contacts, calendar and more, as shown in the above-left image.
  • Tap on each entry to view the apps that access that category of data, as shown in the above-right image.
  • Use the toggles to turn on and turn off access for each app. In iOS 7, the toggle is green when access is enabled.
  • At the bottom of the privacy settings, you will see settings for advertising. This section allows you to limit ad tracking from third-party advertisers. You should check to make sure it is turned on.

Keep in mind as you fiddle with these settings, you may break functionality in apps that require access to this data. For example, contacts app Cobook needs access to your contacts and navigation app Google Maps needs access to your location information. If you disable access to that data, certain features within these apps will break. Nonetheless, it's useful to revisit this setting every once in a while to make sure new apps are not accessing information you want to keep private.



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How-tos iPhone iOS

Ever wonder which apps have access to your contacts or your calendar? Or maybe you tapped the incorrect button when an app asked for...