Apple is watching you

With Apple’s new innovative features, some people fear that these futuristic advancements are leading us into the influence of a new Big Brother.


Addison Hoppes, Staff Member

The phrase smart phone fits Apple’s iPhone perfectly. The iPhone’s countless uses and high tech functioning has won over the public, so much, that we seem to be comfortable with trusting them with our lives on our handheld devices. An iPhone belonging to any ordinary person has many things stored on it, some that are undesired to be shared to the public. While your phone may have a passcode, Apple and other manufactures do not need your four digit code to access the most personal things on your phone. iPhone is constantly recording and viewing data on your phone. This lack of privacy may be concerning, and potentially dangerous. Do we own our phone, or does it own us?

On any updated iPhone, you should be familiar with the use of a live photo. Taking a live photo through an iPhone lens isn’t just capturing a single frozen framed moment, but instead captures the movement and sound. By simply holding down on your photo, you can see and hear not the three seconds after you took the photo, but the three seconds before you even clicked the button. Many have not realized this. The recording of the audio and scene of three seconds before you hit the camera button shows your phone is always attentive to audio and recordings. You thought you were in control, but are you when your phone is always a step ahead of you?

Siri is yet another helpful tool that the iPhone acquires. You can ask Siri anything- what song is playing, the weather, you name it. Siri even can tell you a joke on command. Since the ios 8 software update, Siri has even been able to respond on command to the words “hey Siri”- which will trigger Siri to tune in and respond to you. Siri will respond to this phrase even if your phone is on the other side of the room. Your device has to be constantly listening to pick up the trigger. Technically, this feature is an option, for it can be turned off in your settings. Siri being able to tune in makes it possible for many other appliances to have the possibility to listen. According to the software license agreement, Apple has the right to collect data of you speaking to Siri to understand you better and recognize your voice. You never know who is listening, or what’s happening in the background of your device.

Besides listening, is Apple also watching? Built in sensors in the newest iPhone models allow the phone to scan and decipher facial features to be used as a password to unlock your cell phone. Your phone learns to recognize the instant you hold your phone to your face, even in the dark. When Apple released this feature, many questions came up, questions involving the government and police. There is concern around who will have access to viewing our facial features, and what they will be used for. An even newer feature, animoji, also uses sensors to scan a whopping amount of 30,000 points on your face to have an emoji mimic your facial movements. The fun silly imitation emojis could just be used to distract you from the fact that your phone could now be tracking your expressions, race, and gender. It’s even possible to combine your face with data to observe you in stores.

It’s time to be aware of the technological innovation our future is moving towards. You can take action against its risks. By turning off certain settings on your iPhone, for instance, you can customize which apps have access to your microphone, which might make you feel safer. It’s important to make sure technology doesn’t take advantage of us when we have control. We all have a right to privacy and we have the power to protect it.