Called Safety Check, it allows users to revoke access to information granted to a person by whom they feel threatened.
During its developer conference, Apple unveiled iOS 16, the future version of its mobile operating system. The firm has unveiled several new features for the iPhone, including one for security purposes. Called Safety Check, it comes as a new section in Settings to protect people in abusive relationships. It is advertised as a privacy tool that may be useful to people “whose personal safety is threatened by domestic or spousal violence”.
For this purpose, it will allow users to see and manage the applications and people to whom they have given access to their information. This includes, for example, contacts or the Find My app, which is used to locate Apple devices. The tool also includes an emergency reset to easily sign out of iCloud across devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging and FaceTime calls to the device users have in hand.
Fight against misuse
Apple intends to allow people in abusive relationships to quickly revoke their partner’s access to their data and location. Safety Check is a way for them to cut ties and get to safety. To develop this tool, the American giant worked with organizations fighting against domestic violence, such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Apple’s announcement also comes after the changes made by the firm to combat the misuse of its AirTags. Designed to help find objects such as keys more easily, they are indeed used by some to track people without their knowledge, in particular to stalk and harass women. Last April, the site Motherboard revealed that of 150 police reports mentioning AirTags, 50 involved women who called the police after receiving notifications that their location was being tracked by an AirTag not belonging to them. For half of these cases, they were able to identify a man in their life, such as a former partner, husband or boss, whom they suspected of placing the device in their cars in order to follow and harass them. .