Apple's new iPhone software turns on 'discovery by others' feature

Apple's latest iPhone software update has turned on a “scary-sounding setting” — and users are urging others to turn it off.

The default setting, called “Discoverable by Others,” leads iPhone users to believe that their name and location are being shared without their consent.

However, this is not the case, The Wall Street Journal reported.

As part of the release of iOS 17.2 on December 11, 2023, Apple launched the Journal app. apple

As part of the release of iOS 17.2 on December 11, 2023, Apple launched the Journal app, Which you advertise as a personal diary program “Designed to help users remember a moment and write about it — like new places they visited, photos they took, songs they played, workouts they completed, and more.”

Along with the new app is the new Journaling Suggestions API, or application programming interface, that recommends topics to write about based on things your phone knows about you.

Although the Journal app prompts users to toggle this feature on or off at their discretion when they first open the app — suggestions that Apple insists it will never share with the company — users have found that even when they choose “no,” the feature is available. The Journal previously reported that it was run anyway.

By going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Journal Suggestions, the Discover by Others feature under Journal Suggestions will be enabled by default — even if users never turn on suggestions.

Users who discovered this faulty feature took to social media to speculate why the setting was turned on by default via the Settings app even when selected otherwise in the Journal app.

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Many believe Apple is sharing full names and locations with other users or companies, and is warning other users to “protect yourself” and “stay safe” by turning off the feature.

The Journal app features an auto-triggered “Journaling Suggestions” feature that has iPhone users worried about Apple sharing their personal information. apple

However, Apple's Journal Suggestions and Privacy page on its legal website insists that “if you choose to share your suggestions with the Journal app, you have control over your entries.”

For users whose iPhones are locked with a passcode, “all journal entries are end-to-end encrypted when stored in iCloud, so even Apple can't read them,” the site adds.

Another pointed out A Hey ho! News report However, the Discoverable By Others feature captures the number of devices near you as well as any saved contacts that are within Bluetooth range.

However, it does not save any details of contacts or people near your phone, nor does it reveal any of your information to anyone else.

Similar to AirDrop, iPhone users can share their timeline with nearby users who also have Bluetooth enabled — but not without approvals first.

Apple has insisted that information on iPhone users' Journal app is encrypted, and that the Suggestions feature is intended to enable the platform to work similarly to AirDrop, using Bluetooth to share data with nearby users upon consent. Reuters

For added security, users can also turn off Journal's ability to use the number of nearby devices and contacts to develop writing prompts using the Settings > Privacy & Security > Journal Suggestions path. Then tap “Favorite suggestions with others.”

By toggling this on as well as the “discovered by others” features will make journal suggestions less accurate and specific when submitting prompts, according to Yahoo.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to The Post's request for comment.

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