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We all know while using a new iOS app it might ask for information like location or access to the camera. Those are both features we can deny to the app. There are, however, features apps can access without permission. For example I already know apps can get information like the name of your phone "Mason's iPhone" or the storage available in the device. What are some features apps have access to that doesn't need to be granted permission?

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This might not be exactly what you're looking for but...

Having your iPhone near your keyboard can make you vulnerable to keylogging. Before you call me crazy, I've actually conducted this experiment using neural networks and an Android's accelerometer and it could 80% guess what region of the keyboard the key press came from and could guess within a few keys away fairly often.

Privileges for reading data from the accelerometer are given by default to both iPhone and Android devices, and so a device making use of these readings could potentially figure out when you type in a URL, what passwords you type into the webpages you visit, and combining the probabilistic regions of the key presses with a dictionary attack or a common passwords list would easily break passwords in minutes to seconds, no issue.

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  • You're crazy. In a good way. ;) That's actually a very interesting bit of research. Does the iPhone need to be within a specific distance of the keyboard? Does it need to be on the left side, the right side, the top, or the bottom? The Dark Side, or the Light? Jan 29, 2016 at 7:07
  • @MarkBuffalo Sadly the bounds of my experiment didn't test anything past the phone being directly on the laptop which I've seen some people do. Being in contact with the laptop or another non-elastic surface like wood seems necessary to transfer the vibrations correctly. Jan 29, 2016 at 12:05
  • Well thats terrifying. Jan 29, 2016 at 19:48
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Not directly answering this question but related - I deleted the Facebook app from my iPhone and supposedly this deleted all Facebook data. But when I reinstalled it, it already knew my username. Possibly because I had FB Messenger installed. So I am guessing one thing is if you have apps by the same developer it can pickup data from those other apps.

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  • When you delete an app, anything in the keychain stays. The app developer can easily detect that the app has been freshly installed and remove unwanted data from the keychain when it is run first, and keeps things it wants. An app can also decide which keychain items stay if you restore your phone on a new phone. For example my banking app had no data after restoring my phone.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 25, 2023 at 17:29
  • And yes, apps by the same developer can exchange data.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 25, 2023 at 17:29
  • Unfortunately, this isn't about "what an app knows about you". This app knows your username on its own service.
    – schroeder
    Dec 26, 2023 at 15:10

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