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New feature in iOS 16 lets users remove access granted to an abusive partner

Gelo Gonzales
New feature in iOS 16 lets users remove access granted to an abusive partner

SAFETY CHECK

Screenshot from Apple livestream

An emergency reset button quickly revokes access given to a domestic or intimate partner

MANILA, Philippines – Apple on Tuesday, June 7, introduced a new iOS feature that is designed to help users whose safety may be at risk from an abusive partner.

Called “Safety Check,” the feature allows a user to quickly take back control of any access they may have granted to another person – such as the calendar, location information via the FindMy feature, access to their account via other devices connected on iCloud, and other permissions. 

Central to the feature is an emergency reset button that Apple said “helps users easily sign out of iCloud on all their other devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging to just the device in their hand.” By being able to sign out of iCloud, messages can be limited to just the device in the user’s hand and inaccessible to their partner on other devices. 

Meanwhile, emergency reset “lets people in abusive situations quickly revoke an abuser’s access to their data and location, enabling them to cut ties and get to safety,” said Katie Skinner, senior manager of user privacy software at Apple, at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

“Safety Check can be helpful to users whose personal safety is at risk from domestic or intimate partner violence by quickly removing all access they’ve granted to others,” Apple said in a press release. 

It also has a page that shows which people and apps they’ve given access to, and automatically stops sharing your location. 

The new feature lets users check the access they’ve given to other people. Image from Apple livestream

Skinner said “Many people share passwords and access to their devices with their partner. However, in abusive relationships, this could threaten personal safety, and make it harder to get help.” 

Safety Check, developed in consultation with organizations specializing in combating domestic violence, is one of Apple’s solutions in addressing these concerns that arise from the use of connected devices. It will be available on the upcoming iOS 16. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.