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iOS 14: New privacy tool lets you give an app access to a single photo rather than your whole library

Wwdc 2020 Ios 14 App Library
Wwdc 2020 Ios 14 App Library (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • People are starting to explore the iOS 14 beta.
  • A new photo privacy feature has been discovered.
  • It allows you to give an app access to a single photo, or a selection, rather than your whole library.

A new privacy feature for photos in iOS 14 will let users give an app access to a single photo, or a selection, rather than their entire library.

Apple announced iOS 14 at its WWDC keynote on Monday with a swathe of new features and redesigned elements. During the keynote, Apple touted a few of its new privacy features and notes on its website:

Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That's why with iOS 14, we're giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it's used.

The main features were more privacy information on the App Store, a new recording indicator for the mic and camera, an 'Upgrade to Sign in with Apple' feature, and a new approximate location setting.

As is always the case, some features that are new don't always make the keynote. Spotted by Benedict Evans, one such feature is a change to user permissions for apps which request access to your photos. Currently, iOS 13 users have two options for photo privacy. Within settings, you can choose 'Read and Write' access, or never.

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In iOS 14, when an app requests access to your photos, users can select from three options, the above mentioned, and a new 'Select photos' option. In a summary tile Apple states:

Your photos and memories are personal. Apple's new privacy controls let you decide what photos and videos you share.When an app asks for permission to access your photo library, you have the choice to select specific items or allow access to all photos and videos.

This is a welcome upgrade. Remember that access to photos also includes access to information such as where and when the photo was taken. Now, rather than give an app blanket access to your photos, you can pick and choose what it sees. This is especially handy for say, apps which ask you for a profile picture. Now you can select the photo you want to use, but don't have to give the app access to our entire library. Similarly, if you were using an app like eBay to sell goods, you could give the app access only to photos of items you were selling.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.