How to Enable App Privacy Report on Your iPhone to Check Apps Tracking You

By | December 19, 2021

App Privacy Report was one of the most powerful privacy features revealed by Apple when it announced the iOS 15 update in June during the company’s WWDC 2021 event. The feature allows users to keep an eye on apps accessing their data on their iPhone, such as their camera, microphone, contacts or their location. When Apple released iOS 15 in September, it did not include a way for users to check the privacy report — this was finally included in the iOS 15.2 update that landed on December 13. Users can now easily monitor which apps are constantly accessing their information and deny permissions to those apps, while also keeping track of which URLs apps are connecting to all day.

If you have an iPhone 6s or newer smartphone and have updated to iOS 15.2, you will now be able to quickly check and stop apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tinder, that could be polling your location or accessing your camera roll. It is worth noting that the feature is disabled by default, so users will have to manually switch it on before it can provide any information.

Here’s how you can quickly enable and use your App Privacy Report on iOS 15.2:

  1. Tap on the Settings icon and go to Privacy.

  2. Scroll down and tap App Privacy Report

  3. To enable the feature, tap on Turn On App Privacy Report.

  4. Check back after a few minutes to see the list of apps included in the report.

The App Privacy Report feature on iOS 15 gives users an easy way to check permission usage, network activity, website network activity, and also the most frequently contacted domains on the smartphone. After turning this information on, here’s how you can understand the information:

  1. Tap on the Settings icon and go to Privacy.
  2. Scroll down and tap App Privacy Report.
  3. Now tap on any app under Data and Sensor Access and check the timeline of various permissions accessed.
  4. Under App Network Activity tap an app to see how many (and which) domains an app accessed.
  5. Tap on some of the domains under Most Contacted Domains to see which apps accessed that domain.

Here’s what the App Privacy Report setting page looks like on iOS 15.2
Photo Credit: Apple

According to Apple, the App Network Activity and Most Contacted Domains sections are designed to tell you if multiple apps are accessing a particular domain. This could be a sign that the domain or website is building a profile on you by combining your activity across those apps.

The App Privacy Report feature will collect and display data from the last seven days of your usage, but you can reset the information at any time. Here are the steps to reset or disable App Privacy Report on iOS 15.2:

  1. Tap on the Settings icon and go to Privacy.
  2. Scroll down and tap App Privacy Report.
  3. Now tap on Turn Off App Privacy Report at the bottom.
  4. If you wanted to disable the feature, exit the Settings app. To reset the usage data and start fresh, simply enable the App Privacy Report feature using the steps mentioned at the beginning of the article.

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As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, as well as on Twitter at @DxDavey. 
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