You can never be too careful, and Apple, which is constantly working to improve the privacy of its devices, has come up with a system that indicates whether the iPhone’s microphone or camera is on.
Privacy is an increasingly difficult battle to fight as the major platforms, Facebook and Google in the lead, use personal data to display their advertisements. But it can go even further, malicious applications can for example try to eavesdrop on smartphone users, or even spy on them by taking control of the front camera.
Green dot = camera, red dot = microphone
Since iOS 14, Apple has found a discreet parade that is perhaps not well enough known. When an app uses the iPhone’s microphone, an orange dot appears at the top of the screen. If it’s a green dot, then the app has activated the front camera. These uses are, most of the time, completely legitimate: WhatsApps needs the microphone for audio calls, Snapchat needs the front camera.
Apple requires apps that use smartphone sensors, such as the microphone and camera, to ask the user for consent. But once this agreement has been given, a malicious app could abuse it to discreetly monitor its victim. Hence these colored indicators! In addition, the control center, which is dragged by swiping from top to bottom from the right of the screen, indicates the name of the application that used these sensors.
This is good to know, because it allows, if necessary, to revoke the access permission to the sensors from the “Privacy and security” menu of the iPhone settings, or directly in the application settings. Or even simply delete the app in question!
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