Apple has been working hard to protect its users’ privacy. Many changes have been made to give users more control over how their data is shared with apps. This is especially true after multiple reports of user data being leaked in the past. With the iOS 14 update, you will be able to control the apps that can access other devices on your local network through a new feature.
When you download apps like Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Google Meet, and more on your iPhone, you will get a message saying that the app wants to “find and connect devices to your local network.” In this post, we’ll talk about how it works and how to control iPhone apps that connect to local networks.
Access Local Network on iPhone
WHAT DOES THIS PRIVACY CONTROL MEAN
You can mirror your iPhone screen wirelessly to your TV so you can play a game or watch a movie on Netflix. This is something that AirPlay can do. In the same way, if you want to play a song from Spotify on your HomePod or other smart speakers, you need to give Spotify permission to access that speaker, which is connected to your local network. After you install and open an app for the first time, you will get a message saying that the app wants to find and access devices on your local network. You will be given two options: Don’t Allow or OK.
This privacy setting lets you decide if you want to give an app access to your data. If you give this permission, the app will be able to get information about how you use the other devices on your local network. If you give Spotify this permission, the app will start tracking how you use your device. But some apps, like Facebook, can also start to build an ad profile based on the things you like.
WHEN SHOULD YOU ALLOW LOCAL NETWORK ACCESS
It’s not a new feature to be able to scan devices that are connected to the local network. It was something going on in the background that was meant to make your experience better. But after iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, it started showing up in apps as a prompt. If you’re sure the app is safe and private and want to use it to connect to devices like smart speakers and smart TVs, you’ll need to tap OK when prompted. If you don’t give this permission, some Music, Smart Home, Gaming, and Streaming apps won’t work.
But if you see this prompt after installing a banking app or any other app that seems to have no reason to need access to your local network, tap Don’t Allow.
You can also deny this permission if you don’t want to connect that app on your iPhone to your smart speaker or smart TV. This will stop these apps from getting information about your other devices.
HOW TO MANAGE APPS THAT ACCESS LOCAL NETWORK
If you’ve already given the app permission to access your local network, you can turn it off on your iPhone. These steps can also be used on an iPad. Make sure you are running iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 or higher.
Step 1: Open the Settings app.
Step 2: Scroll down and go to Privacy and Security.
Step 3: Tap on Local Network.
Step 4: Tap the toggle next to the app whose access you want to disable.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DENY LOCAL NETWORK ACCESS
If you don’t give some apps permission to access devices on your local network, they will keep working as they should on your iPhone. The only thing that will be different is that they won’t be able to talk to other devices on your local network. Apple System Services like AirDrop, AirPlay, AirPrint, and HomeKit can also be used with these apps.
MANAGE DEVICE ACCESS ON LOCAL NETWORK
Apple is always on the lookout for ways to improve your data’s privacy. With the release of iOS 16, the company added a feature called “Safety Check” to the iPhone that stops people in abusive relationships from getting to their data.