Apple's new iPhone software turns on 'Discoverable by Others'

MONEY & BUSINESS: Apple’s new iPhone software turns on ‘Discoverable by Others’

Apple’s latest iPhone software update toggled on a “creepy-sounding setting” — and users are urging others to turn it off.

The default setting, dubbed “Discoverable by Others,” is leading iPhone users to think their name and location are being shared without their consent.

However, that isn’t the case, The Wall Street Journal reported.

As a part of iOS 17.2’s release on Dec. 11, 2023, Apple launched the Journal app. Apple

As a part of iOS 17.2’s release on Dec. 11, 2023, Apple launched the Journal app, which it advertises as a personal journaling software “designed to help users remember and write about a moment — like new places they’ve visited, photos they’ve taken, songs they’ve played, workouts they’ve completed, and more.”

Along with the new app is a new Journaling Suggestions API, or application programming interface, which recommends topics to write about based off of things your phone knows about you.

Though the Journal app prompts users to toggle this feature on or off at their discretion when first opening the app — suggestions Apple insists aren’t ever shared with the company — users have been finding that even when they select “no,” the feature is turned on anyways, The Journal earlier reported.

By going into Settings > Privacy & Security > Journaling Suggestions, the “Discoverable by Others” feature under “Journaling Suggestions” will be enabled by default — even if users never turned on suggestions.

Users discovering this faulty feature have taken to social media to speculate why the setting would be on by default via the Settings app even when selecting otherwise in the Journal app.

Many believe that Apple is sharing full names and locations with other users or corporations, and are warning fellow users to “protect yourself” and “be safe” by turning the feature off.

The Journal app boasts a “Journaling Suggestions” feature that auto-toggles on and had iPhone users concerned that Apple was sharing their personal information. Apple

Apple’s Journaling Suggestions & Privacy landing page on its Legal website, however, insists that “if you choose to share your suggestions with the Journal app, you have control over your entries.”

For users whose iPhones are locked with a passcode, “all Journal entries are end-to-end encrypted when stored in iCloud, so even Apple can’t read them,” the website adds.

Another pointed to a Yahoo! News report that said the “Discoverable by Others” feature “picks up the number of devices you’re near as well as any saved contacts you come within Bluetooth range of.

However, it does not save any details of the contacts or people you’re near to your phone, nor does it reveal any of your information to anyone else.”

Similar to AirDrop, iPhone users can share their Journal with nearby users who also have their Bluetooth enabled — though not without approvals first.

Apple has insisted that information on iPhone users’ Journal app are encrypted, and that the suggestions feature is so the platform can function similarly to AirDrop by using Bluetooth to share data with nearby users upon approval. REUTERS

For extra security, users can also turn off Journal’s ability to use the number of nearby devices and contacts to develop writing prompts with the pathway Settings > Privacy & Security > Journaling Suggestions. Then, tap off “Prefer Suggestions with Others.”

By toggling off this as well as the “Discoverable by Others” features will make Journaling Suggestions less accurate and specific when providing prompts, according to Yahoo.

Representatives for Apple did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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