Apple unveiled the new iOS 16 at the WWDC 2022 on Monday which includes a vital feature called Safety Check in the iPhones. The new security feature allows users to quickly review which contacts may have access to their location or calendar info and revoke their access.
Apple is expanding its personal safety features in iOS 16 with the new Safety Check. This emergency feature is capable of locking down privacy and security settings by letting you review and revoke permissions quickly.
This new feature will be helping people in abusive relationships, so they can easily cut ties with their abusive partners/ abusers across devices. It is among the highlights of the keynote alongside the new M2 chip and the MacBook lineup powered by it.
Recently, Apple has been making impressive progress to address privacy concerns with its devices and this appears to be a very logical step.
What is Apple’s Safety Check feature in the iOS 16?
Apple debuted the iOS 16 at WWDC 2022 and it includes an impressive feature called Safety Check that is aimed to help people in abusive relationships or domestic violence survivors.
Apple’s new Safety Check feature allows iPhone users to quickly reset all privacy permissions, sign out of iCloud on all devices, and limit incoming as well as outgoing messaging to a single device by performing an emergency reset.
In addition, it also disables location tracking permissions, and calendar info access, and revokes other important password and date accesses. This way, people with abusive partners can protect their privacy and stay safe in any situation.
Users can also use the Safety Check feature to review their security settings. It is designed into a checklist which makes reviewing and revoking access on an app-to-app or contact-to-contact basis very simple. It will help users better understand and manage whom they’ve given access to their device and data.
Apple has partnered with agencies like the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), the National Center for Victims of Crime, and Australia’s Women’s Services Network (WESNET).
How does the Safety Check Feature on the iOS 16 Work?
The Safety Check feature works by performing an Emergency Reset that you can trigger from the Settings app on your iPhone. It will remove access to all the permissions that you’ve previously granted to your partner, friend, or family member.
The reset also signs out your iCloud account from all other devices, disables any tracking software (stalkerware) installed secret on your device, and turns off location sharing. It will also limit iMessage and FaceTime sessions to your device only. You can also review and edit your emergency contacts.
The iPhone users can also selective review and revoke access permissions with the help of the new Safety Check feature. It makes the whole procedure hassle-free and quick.
Why has Apple Introduced the Safety Check feature in iOS 16?
Apple has introduced the new Safety Check feature to help people in abusive relationships or domestic abuse survivors after many security experts publically called them out for the impact of its technology on the section.
“Many people share passwords and access to their devices with a partner,” stated Katie Skinner, a privacy engineering manager at Apple, at the keynote. “However, in abusive relationships, this can threaten personal safety and make it harder for victims to get help.”
My friend had an ex who would monitor her convos via an iPad they left behind at their place. Super creepy because he’d comment on her convos.
— Uchenna – Free Brittney Griner 🅰️🌶 (@MadebyUche) June 6, 2022
“In times of crisis, for many survivors, it’s important to know who has their location and information,” the National Center for Victims of Crime said in a statement shared by Apple. “Safety Check helps give control back to survivors,” Apple adds.
In case I was in any way unclear, Apple's Safety Check is a good thing for survivors of intimate partner abuse. One of the most common problems that survivors have when I talk to them is figuring out who has access to their data and how to lock them out.
— Eva (@evacide) June 6, 2022
Apple’s new Safety Check feature in iOS 16 seems to be a result of the widespread criticism that the company faced over the AirTag-enabled tracking features that have been linked to a number of stalking incidents.
The company also continues to expand upon safety and privacy features. It has also announced new features to simply children’s account management. The new features will guide parents through setting up content restrictions for minors, screen time limits, and enable location sharing with family members.
Apple continues to move in the right direction with its latest major OS update. There’s still a lot of space left for innovation. We’ll likely witness that in the coming months.