Apple works hard to secure the privacy of its users’ data. There have been many improvements in terms of giving users more control to manage apps and data sharing, especially after several reports of user data breaches in the past. With the iOS 14 update, The new feature lets you control which apps access other devices on your local network.
Facebook Instagram, Netflix Whenever you download an app to your iPhone, like Google Meet and others, You’ll see the app asking you to ‘discover and connect devices to your local network’. In this post, It will explain how to manage apps accessing local networks on iPhone and how it works.
What are these privacy controls?
If you’re playing a game or watching a movie on Netflix; You can wirelessly mirror your iPhone screen to your TV. This is a function of AirPlay. Similarly, When you want to play a song from Spotify to your HomePod or other smart speakers; You need to allow Spotify to use that speaker connected to your local network. After you install and launch an app for the first time, You will receive a prompt saying that the app wants to detect and access devices to your local network and have two options – Don’t and OK.
This privacy control lets you choose whether to allow an app to access your data. If you grant this permission; The app will access other devices connected to your local network and collect information about how you use them. If you grant this permission to Spotify; The app will start collecting data on your device usage habits. But some apps, like Facebook, can also start building an ad profile based on your preferences.
When should Local Network Access be allowed?
This feature of scanning devices connected to a local network is not new. This is a background function intended to improve your experience. But after iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, It starts showing up as a prompt in apps. If you are sure about the app’s safety and privacy and want to use it to connect to devices like smart speakers and smart TVs. You will need to click OK when you receive the order. If you decline this permission, Music, Smart Home Some apps from categories like Gaming and Streaming don’t work.
But if you get after installing a banking app or any app that seems pointless for local network access. We recommend clicking Don’t Allow when the prompt appears. In addition, Unless you plan to connect that app to your iPhone with your smart speaker or smart TV. You may consider denying this permission. This will prevent those apps from collecting information about your other connected devices.
How to manage apps accessing the Local Network?
If the app is already allowed to access your local network. You can turn it off on your iPhone. These steps also apply to iPad users. Make sure you’re using iOS 14 or later or iPadOS 14 or later.
Step 1: Open the Settings app.
Step 2: Scroll down and go to Privacy & Security.
Step 3: Click Local Network.
Step 4: Tap the button next to the app whose access you want to disable.
What happens if Local Network Access is denied?
If you don’t allow certain apps permission to access devices connected to your local network. They will continue to do whatever they can on your iPhone. The only difference is that they won’t interact with other devices connected to your local network. These apps include AirDrop, AirPlay You will also be able to use Apple system services such as AirPrint and HomeKit.
Manage Device Access on Local Network.
Apple is always on the lookout for ways to improve your data privacy. With the release of iOS 16, the company introduced the feature. Security check on iPhone. To prevent access to data by users who unfortunately end up in abusive relationships.