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iOS 14 Privacy – Green And Orange Dots And What They Mean

Are you seeing spots? Specifically, spots in iOS 14? No, you haven’t been concussed, it’s a privacy feature! iOS 14 privacy features include a new set of indicators!

iOS 14 Privacy indicator

iOS 14 Privacy Indicator Dots

You may have noticed the appearance of dots in the upper right-hand side of your HUD. They’ll either come across as an orange or green circle and if you happen to have Differentiate Without Colour accessibility option turned on, an orange square may appear. 

These indicators are essentially hardwired to show if your camera or microphone is active. Green means the camera is active, orange means the microphone is being used. 

As I’ve described before, Apple takes privacy very seriously, and have increased requirements for 3rd party apps yet again. These indicators are part of that and are effectively hardwired into the camera and microphone access API. Whenever an App, Apple, or 3rd Party, access either your microphone or camera, the software does that through an Apple written Application Programming Interface. There is no other way of accessing that hardware, and Apple has made it so that if those APIs are in use, the indicators show. 

This means a visual indicator will appear no matter if your App is telling you it’s using your Microphone or not… and we’ve seen just how untrustworthy apps really are. 

So, a little dot is good and all but doesn’t exactly give a lot of information. If you swipe down and bring up Control Centre, it will tell you what was using the camera or microphone!

iOS 14 privacy indicators

Yea! Information with context! This might just tell you what App may have been spying you, that is the point after all. 

This is another great privacy feature thanks to Apple, one that Android is no doubt trying to implement… and due to the porosity of Android should be rather easy to circumvent, lol. Check out the veritable dashboard of indicators in iOS here. Do you have any questions or comments regarding iOS privacy? Contact us

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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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