New 'creepy' iPhone update automatically turned on millions of phones

  • 03/04/2024
New 'creepy' iPhone update automatically turned on millions of phones
Photo credit: Getty Images

A new iPhone update which has emerged on phones worldwide is unsettling users.

The new "creepy-sounding setting" popped up in Apple's latest update, leading people to think private information like their photos and location are being shared without their knowledge or consent. 

Apple said it is not the case.

However, The Wall Street Journal senior personal technology columnist Joanna Stern suggests users "turn it off anyway". 

Stern looked into the update after it caused a stir online.

It comes after Apple launched its Journal app in its iOS 17.2 update in December last year.

Now, the setting 'Discoverable by Others' can be found under 'Journalling Suggestions' in an iPhone's privacy and security settings.

If the feature is enabled, data on the phone – including photos, calls, texts, music, workouts and locations – can be used to give suggestions on what to write about in the journal, according to Apple. 

The company said users' information was not shared with others despite claims on social media.

However, for those worried about it it's important to note the feature is turned on by default – even if you've deleted the app.

"Even if this all makes sense to avid journalers (I haven't met any), why does Apple have 'Discoverable' on by default?" Stern asked. 

"Why not just ask me when I turn on Journaling Suggestions?"

An Apple spokeswoman told Stern it was done so users get the benefit, regardless of whether their friends and people around them are using the Journal app or not.

How to turn the feature off:

  • Click on 'Settings' from iPhone homepage
  • Click on 'Privacy and Security'
Privacy and Security.
Privacy and Security.
  • Click on 'Journalling Suggestions'
Journaling Suggestions.
Journaling Suggestions.
  • Click on 'Discoverable by Others'
How to disable the feature.
How to disable the feature.