Published: Thu, August 08, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Apple to restrict Facebook's messaging apps feature - The Information

Apple to restrict Facebook's messaging apps feature - The Information

By introducing this new privacy-focused feature, the iPhone maker hopes to prevent third-party apps from listening in the background to collect your data.

As of now the calling feature on apps like Messenger runs in the background. It also helps in end-to-end encryption.

To protect the privacy of its users and keep major apps from accessing microphone data in the background, Apple has announced that it would be rolling out an update to mobile operating system iOS to restrict apps such as Facebook's Messenger, WhatsApp and other communication apps from making voice calls over the internet in the background. Once Apple enforces the new changes, developers will be forced to rebuild their app.

The change will be a part of iOS 13 which is expected to roll out this September. Based on the report, developers have time till April 2020 to update their apps.

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Facebook put on a fearless face, but this could affect its two messaging services-it owns both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp-in a significant way.

Apple's change in iOS 13 might seem harsh and unreasonable. But it could also be used for "unrelated tasks", such as collecting data. However, a lot of things are at stake when it comes to privacy.

As it is now, VoIP features on such apps can run in the background when not in use, allowing them to connect calls faster. Apple claims that it still allows Messenger to use VoIP mode.

The "small but significant change" - according to The Information - strikes at the heart of Facebook and other messaging apps, and could result in a fundamental rewiring of the applications on the platform. I personally feel that Apple did a good thing by restricting the objective for which the app can run in the background. But why can't Apple simply restrict unnecessary data collection via its VoIP APIs?

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