Commentary: These are the worst privacy features coming to iOS 16

Commentary: These are the worst privacy features coming to iOS 16

Apple wants to be known for its privacy-first approach to hardware and software products. While the company has successfully introduced essential features for this matter such as Sign In with Apple, end-to-end encryption for iMessage and FaceTime, iOS 15’s Find My feature even with phone off, App Tracking Transparency and more , there are some features coming to iOS 16 that make iPhone less secure. Here they are and how Apple could fix it before this new OS is released.

The iPhone has become an essential part of people’s lives. Our photos, videos, messages, contacts, banking information and more are stored on a single device. And while regular users can rest assured that they are protected with their two-step verification process, Face ID, etc., some people just want an extra layer of protection.

9to5Mac already reported how criminals can access banking information in minutes with the iPhone unlocked. And this is not the only problem. When someone has access to your four- or six-digit PIN, they can do anything on your iPhone.

For example, if you use the Microsoft Outlook app, you can add Face ID protection to it, but at the same time, you can just type the six-digit passcode and access the user’s messages. With these numbers, someone can even reset your Apple ID password on the device, which is a big deal.

With that in mind, one of the most interesting features I’ve always loved is the fact that you can lock a note in the Notes app with a different PIN. Similarly, you can lock your iPhone’s SIM card when the smartphone turns off and on again, you can also do that with the Notes app.


But now with iOS 16, Apple plans to add convenience over protection. When you open the Notes app for the first time while using iOS 16, it says, “Remember one less password: End-to-end encrypt your locked notes with your device’s passcode.” And while I understand why this can be helpful, let me tell you why this is a concern.

But that’s not the only bad feature. iOS 16’s Safari also strives for convenience over security. It’s been a while since Keychain allowed users to store their credit card information, but Apple thought it was a great idea to let users store the card’s security code. In 2013, Apple’s Craig Federighi said Apple can help you fill in most credit card information “but you have to remember your own security code, that makes it safe after all.” So why this change now?

How to fix these privacy issues with iOS 16?

For these particular iOS 16 features, I’d say Apple should just remove them. While most of these features feel like no one knows your six-digit PIN, I don’t understand how Apple doesn’t think the increasing number of stolen iPhones is a problem in some regions.

While this may not be a problem everywhere in the world – thankfully – it also makes the iPhone experience less secure. Having the ability to add different passwords for some apps is a great idea.

In addition, I strongly advise Apple not to let anyone reset an Apple ID password on the iPhone with just a six-digit PIN. It’s too risky.

While the company doesn’t address these issues with iOS 16, I highly recommend third-party apps that can better protect your data.

For example, with 1Password and 2Stable’s Authenticator app, you can store your credentials with E2E without relying on the convenience of Touch ID/Face ID, as you can add a different password.

Apps that store photos and other documents with passwords are also a great way. Personally, I still want Apple to introduce a secure folder – like Samsung – so that users can better protect their data.

What do you think of these iOS 16 privacy features? Do you agree with me? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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