Apple to introduce 'Safety Check' feature to assist victims of abusive relationships 3 months ago

Apple to introduce 'Safety Check' feature to assist victims of abusive relationships

The new feature will be a part of iOS16, arriving later this year.

Tech giant Apple has announced an upcoming feature for its operating system which aims to assist victims of abusive relationships to cut all ties with their partner.

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'Safety Check' was announced during Apple's WorldWide Developers Conference presentation on Monday (6 June).

The new section in the Settings app shows which permissions you can give other iOS users, including your location, contacts, and access to messages.

With the new feature, these permissions can be changed immediately, allowing victims to get away from abusive partners by removing permissions to track them, including via location sharing.

Apple developed the feature with consultation from several organisations that focus on providing assistance to victims, including National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), National Centre for Victims of Crime, and WESNET (The Woman's Services Network).

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Katie Skinner, a Senior Manager in User Privacy Software, described how the technology worked during the keynote.

"Safety Check stops sharing your location with others via FindMy (iOS device) and resets the system privacy permissions for all apps," Skinner said.

"It also protects access to your messages by helping you sign out of iCloud on all your other devices and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device in your hand.

"Safety Check also helps you manage who you've given access to, and you can audit which permissions you've granted to certain apps."

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Skinner said that the new feature had been received positively by the organisations they worked with in developing the setting.

"In times of crisis, for many survivors, it's important to know who has their information and location," a spokesperson for the National Center for Victims of Crime said.

"Safety Check helps give control back to survivors."

The new setting will arrive with iOS16, which is set to launch on iOS devices later this year.

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You can watch the full keynote from WWDC 2022 here.

Clip via Apple