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The iOS 14 Privacy and Security Features You Should Know

This new iOS 14 feature gives your iPhone a different MAC address every time it connects, making it much more difficult for this sort of tracking to work. It’s set to be enabled by default for every new network you connect to.

Know When Apps Snoop on Your Clipboard

If you see a message about apps pasting clipboard information from other apps at the top of your iPhone screen, don’t panic: That’s just the new clipboard notification feature in iOS kicking into action. As the iOS 14 beta program revealed, plenty more apps monitor the clipboard than you would actually think, even before you’ve actually pasted anything.

Most apps now seem to have tidied up their approach to clipboard access to avoid getting called out. If you’re using iOS 14, you should only see the notification when you actually choose to paste something inside an app, in which case the app obviously needs access to the clipboard.

Limit How Apps Track You

Another change in iOS 14 is that apps will have to specifically request permission to track
you across other apps and sites. However, after complaints from advertisers—most notably Facebook, which in August said the move would “severely impact” its lucrative Audience Network—this feature won’t be fully enforced until sometime next year.

For now, you can head to Privacy then Tracking from the iOS Settings menu, and you’ll find a toggle switch for whether you want apps to be able to request permission to track you outside of the actual app itself. This sort of tracking is largely done to better target advertising at you.

As the tracking screen in iOS itself notes, apps that you don’t give permission to might still try to track you, as per their individual privacy policies. The more effective app-by-app controls should go into effect next year.

Vet Apps for Privacy Info

One iOS 14 feature that Apple has announced for iOS 14, but which hasn’t yet gone live, is app privacy cards. When the feature does appear, these cards will give you more details about how apps make use of the data they collect from you.

Presumably developers need a bit more time to get their apps in order—the feature isn’t visible at the time of writing—but when it does appear, you should see a new App Privacy button on each of the listings inside the App Store.

Follow that link, and you’ll be able to see the information you’re giving up to a particular app and how that information is being recorded and connected with existing profiles stored on your device or the web.

Get Privacy Reports From Safari

screenshot of safari settings page

Safari gives you the details on its cross-site tracker blocking.

Screenshot: David Nield via Apple