Apple just published a document called “Device and Data Access when Personal Safety is At Risk.” This document was published as a PDF, made to exist as a guide for users of all sorts, be they your average smartphone, tablet, or computer user or a hardened internet-ready professional. This document is very important, not just because it’s handy, but because it’ll act as a line in the sand for Apple, providing a level of support for everyday users that hasn’t been available anywhere before.
Apple made a business of making devices that were easy to use. The iPhone, iPad, and MacOS devices of all sorts are so extremely easy to use that it’s similarly easy to lose track of the importance of staying safe while using said devices.
Apple’s “Device and Data Access when Personal Safety is At Risk” document has a simple outline. The document is meant to “help you identify risks, and walk you through the steps to help make the technology you rely on as private and secure as you want it to be.”
NOTE: If you’d like to see the full document, head to Apple Support and search “Device and Data Access when Personal Safety is At Risk”.
What is this for?
Sommer Panage, engineering manager on Apple’s iOS Accessibility Team notes that the guide is for people who wish to avoid surveillance or stalking by trusted (or rather, UN-trusted) individuals.
This guide tackles issues that haven’t been addressed at length by any smartphone or smart device maker in the past. One would hope that similar guides will be created and distributed by all companies that create devices that could be used in similar nefarious ways.
This document is a PDF, which means you can download it and do with it what you wish. While it wasn’t likely the FIRST concern of the creators of this document, this opens the door to an important use case scenario.
We’re inching toward the end of the year here in 2020 and the holiday that’ll summon the tech support knowhow of thousands of individuals for their parents, grandparents, and so forth. When one wishes to leave their friend or relative with the tools to help in the future, it’s standard practice to write down a few steps on paper.
If you’re making sure your grandmother knows what to do with respect to device and data access for personal safety, a printed guide like this is right on point.