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Latest Apple Software Helps Worried Parents By Limiting It’s Use

Apple has announced new controls

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Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook speaks at the Apple Worldwide Developer conference in San Jose, Calif., June 4, 2018.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook speaks at the Apple Worldwide Developer conference in San Jose, Calif., June 4, 2018. VOA
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For Apple users worried about how much time they and their children spend posting photos and videos to their devices, help is on the way.

Apple has announced new controls that will allow parents to remotely limit the amount of time their offspring spend on iPhones and iPads, as well as hold up a mirror to their own online habits. The feature will be available in the next software update.

The move comes as the tech industry faces criticism that it has successfully made its smartphones and apps addictive with little thought for how people’s lives may be negatively affected by the distraction of constantly checking their devices.

Smartphone addiction

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about his own habits at an Apple developers conference this week. After trying out Apple’s new controls, he saw his usage in a new light.

“I thought I was fairly disciplined about this, and I was wrong,” he told CNN.

Earlier this year, major Apple shareholders wrote the company asking that it do more to help parents by providing tools to limit children’s screen time, while looking at how being online constantly affects customers’ mental health.

Apple appears to have listened to some of these concerns. It is introducing “Screen Time,” an app that will give users a weekly report about how much time they spend on their devices and on specific apps, as well as new ways to curb the habit.

Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, speaks about the company's "Screen Time" feature during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, June 4, 2018, in San Jose, Calif.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, speaks about the company’s “Screen Time” feature during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, June 4, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. VOA

Parents can give their children screen time allowances — a specific amount of time they can play a video game or check in with friends on apps such as Snapchat. Once they hit the limit, children will have to ask parents to increase the time allotment.

“We’re empowering people with the facts that will allow them to decide for themselves how they want to cut back,” said Cook.

Apple’s changes will be part of a software update typically released in September.

Apple isn’t the only company creating a digital baby sitter of sorts. Last month, Google announced it, too, was giving parents more tools to monitor their and their children’s usage.

Customer privacy

In addition, Apple revealed new ways it would limit the sharing of customer information, perhaps in response to the firestorm directed at Facebook over how the social media giant mishandled customer data. It has long been part of Apple’s message that compared with fellow Silicon Valley companies, Apple cares the most about users’ privacy.

Apple customers might not notice some of the changes. They include limiting “fingerprinting,” which gives data collectors the ability to tell one Apple computer from another. Others will allow customers to actively decide whether to allow websites that track them on the Safari browser.

Also read: Apple introduces macos mojave

“We believe your private data should remain private,” said Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi. VOA

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Cops Can Unlock The Security Password In The Upcoming IPhones

The FBI says it sought Apple's help in unlocking the encrypted iPhone

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Cops Can Unlock The Security Hole In Upcoming IPhones
Cops Can Unlock The Security Hole In Upcoming IPhones, pixabay

The upcoming iPhones and iPads will plug a security hole that the police and law enforcement officials have used to crack into the highly-secure devices in the past, Apple has said.

According to a report in The Fortune on Wednesday, Apple will soon update its current operating system that runs iPads and iPhones.

“Apple will add ‘USB Restricted Mode’, an option that disables the USB port for any kind of data transfer or interactions if a device hasn’t been unlocked in the previous hour,” said the report.

Any attempt to break into the device would need to plug it into a hardware-cracking device very quickly.

In most cases, law enforcement would be unable to react fast enough.

“We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves, and intrusions into their personal data,” Apple said.

Cops
Cops, pixabay

Apple has had a strained relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the past when the US agency asked the tech giant to give it access to iPhones owned by terrorists and shooters.

Apple refused the FBI’s request to help it unlock the encrypted iPhone of the terrorist who executed the attack in San Bernardino, California in December 2015 that left 14 dead.

Apple said it would not break its customer’s trust and argued that the device’s encryption could not be defeated — even by the company.

The FBI later obtained a hacking tool that allowed the agency to access the contents of the terrorist’s iPhone.

A US court in 2017 allowed the FBI to keep secret the information regarding the tool that was used to hack iPhone 5C used by terrorist Syed Farook.

In another case, the FBI said it sought Apple’s help in unlocking the encrypted iPhone used by Devin P. Kelley who killed 26 people at a rural Texas church but Apple refused to help.

Refuting the FBI’s claim, Apple said it reached out to the bureau “immediately” to offer assistance in getting into the gunman’s iPhone and expedite its response to any legal process.

The data of most Apple devices is encrypted and can only be accessed by entering the correct passcode. If the wrong iPhone passcode is entered 10 times, its data is automatically erased.

Apple Gadgets
Apple Gadgets, pixabay

In its bi-annual transparency report in May, Apple said the governments around the world sent requests for device information on 29,718 Apple devices, with India asking for 27 device requests in the July-December 2017 period.

Also read: Apple Brings FIFA World Cup Closer to You

The governments and private parties also requested information on 3,358 Apple accounts and data was provided in 82 per cent of cases. (IANS)