After iOS 17 upgrade: To be on the safe side, check these location services

When a new major version of iOS is installed on the iPhone, it is usually accompanied by new functions and advanced settings. But old settings can also be affected by the new system. As the developers of the German-Canadian company Mysk now announce, the upgrade appears to be available iOS 17 to reactivate location services that were previously switched off on the iPhone. According to Apple, this is an oversight. If you want to use the iPhone's location to a limited extent, take a look at the settings for “Important Places” and “iPhone Analysis”.

Here you can find the (perhaps) affected location settings

According to several media reports, not all users and their devices on which iOS 17 was installed as an upgrade are affected. But it can't hurt to check and turn off both functions. This is said to have been recommended by several security researchers. And here you can find the respective switches:

  1. Opens the Settings on your Apple iPhone
  2. Type the point Privacy an
  3. Choose in it Location services from
  4. Scroll all the way down and type System services an
  5. Here you can find Important Places and iPhone analysis
On your iPhone with iOS 17, you can find out whether “Important Places” and “iPhone Analysis” are (re)activated under Settings -> Data Protection & Security -> Location Services -> System Services.
On your iPhone with iOS 17, you can find out whether “Important Places” and “iPhone Analysis” are (re)activated under Settings -> Data Protection & Security -> Location Services -> System Services.

For me, “iPhone Analysis” was not activated, but “Important Places” was switched on (you can read what the two features do below). However, since data from the beginning of August was shown to me under the latter point, I do not believe that it was activated due to the iOS 17 upgrade. I probably never checked before and turned the whole thing off. So I wasn't affected by the bug, but I was still able to learn something and switch over by checking it out.

What are Important Places in iPhone Location Services?

If this function is activated, the iPhone remembers places where you (frequently) stay. This can be home and work, but also restaurants, shops, supermarkets, certain routes and the like. The information is shared end-to-end encrypted via iCloud with the other Apple devices you use. The idea behind this is that, depending on important locations, certain photos are suggested as memories, apps as everyday helpers, locations on maps and the like. Navigation can also be influenced by this.

The settings for this feature say:

Allow your iPhone and other connected iCloud devices to remember which locations are important to you to provide useful location-based information in Maps, Calendar, Photos, and more. “Important Places” are end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by Apple.

You can turn the whole thing off by deactivating the switch under Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Location Services -> System Services -> Important Places (it will then no longer be green, but gray). You can also use the “Delete history” button at the bottom to remove previously saved locations.

Not only can you prohibit future use of “Important Places”, but you can also delete the current history.
Not only can you prohibit future use of “Important Places”, but you can also delete the current history.

What is “iPhone Analytics” in iOS Location Services?

iPhone analysis is a tool used by Apple with which iPhone data (anonymized) is sent to Apple and evaluated there in order to draw conclusions about the use of the device and the iOS system. This should lead to the adaptation and improvement of the offer. Movement data is one aspect that plays a role.

So can e.g. For example, you can see what adjustments are possible in Apple Maps, in the navigation algorithms and the like. The data is processed by Apple and can be viewed by the company. Although they are anonymized, anyone who does not want location data to be passed on can and should deactivate the switch.

Further information and sources

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.

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