iOS 17 might have reset your iPhone's location privacy settings, here's how to check

iPhone privacy settings screen
(Image credit: Future)

There's understandably a ton of talk about the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro right now and it's sometimes easy to forget that people who didn't buy a new phone can also install iOS 17 on their old one. If they do, they might want to take a minute to check a couple of important privacy settings.

As noted by the security researchers Mysk, installing iOS 17 on some devices appears to cause two specific privacy settings to become enabled, even if they were previously disabled.

The two options in question relate to the collection of location data, making them particularly important for those who want to ensure that such data isn't being used or is at risk of falling into the wrong hands.

System Services

As Mysk noted in a post on X, the social network previously known on Twitter, it seems that these changes are being made automatically after upgrading to IOS 17.

"iOS 17 turns these sensitive location options back on," the researchers warn. "If you have disabled significant locations as well as adding your location information to your iPhone analytics before upgrading to iOS 17, iOS 17 will turn the options on as shown in the screenshot."

The researchers add that while Significant Locations data isn't uploaded to the cloud, it does "record detailed information about the locations you visit frequently."

These two options, in particular, have previously been highlighted as some that iPhone users should continue disabling and it's a concern if they are indeed being automatically re-enabled on some devices.

At this point, this is more likely to be a bug than any decision on Apple's part, and it seems that this is an issue that isn't affecting everyone. If you're a privacy-conscious iPhone user we'd suggest heading into Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services and scrolling to the very bottom to check if these location collection services are enabled.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.