feature of the week

Permissions

| feature of the week

As technology grows and becomes more complex and pervasive, the need for security increases dramatically. What used to be little more than a few chat room conversations has quickly expanded to include everything from taxes and medical records to doorbell cameras and cars, so it’s no wonder Apple takes security very seriously.

Sometimes, apps like forScore can help you accomplish certain tasks more easily by accessing some information or hardware. To record yourself practicing a song and review it later, forScore needs to be able to access your microphone. To help you digitize your music on the go, Darkroom can use your device’s camera or import existing images from your Photos library. To allow you to link specific audio tracks from the Music app to pieces in your sheet music library, forScore requires access to your Music library.

The first time you use these features, iOS prompts you to decide whether or not you want to grant forScore permission to access the relevant information or hardware component. If you choose to, forScore can provide the full use of that feature. Otherwise, the feature may be limited or completely disabled.

If you accidentally make the wrong choice or change your mind later, these permissions can be controlled from within the Settings app, under “forScore.” The first three options, “Microphone,” “Camera,” and “Media & Apple Music,” each have a switch next to them that can be flipped on or off at any time to grant or revoke access, respectively.

In some ways, the magic of modern technology really comes from devices accurately predicting and responding to your needs and intentions without you even needing to express them, but when these devices can do so much there can be no “magic” when it comes to protecting your data and privacy. Sometimes, a good old fashioned on/off switch is the only way to provide the kind of explicit agreement needed to leverage these components responsibly.