iPhone Journal's Discoverable by Others iPhone Journal's Discoverable by Others

iPhone Journal’s Discoverable by Others: What You Need to Know and How to Disable It

Learn how to disable the iPhone Journal app’s ‘Discoverable by Others’ feature, addressing privacy concerns raised by its default activation in iOS updates.

In a move that has stirred considerable conversation among iPhone users, Apple’s latest iOS update has introduced a feature in the Journal app named ‘Discoverable by Others’, which is turned on by default. This feature, while designed to enhance the journaling experience by suggesting journal entries based on the user’s interactions and surroundings, has raised privacy concerns due to its default activation.

The ‘Discoverable by Others’ setting is part of the Journal app’s Journaling Suggestions feature. It operates by using your iPhone’s Bluetooth to detect the presence of other devices nearby that are in your contacts. The aim is to enrich journaling suggestions by noting significant events, such as a dinner party with friends, without sharing personal journal contents or precise contact details. Apple clarifies that while the feature may share your proximity to other users in your contacts, it does not divulge specific identities or store information about which contacts were nearby. This functionality is designed to prompt users to journal about noteworthy occasions by recognizing when several contacts are in proximity, hence potentially indicating a special event​​.

However, the default activation of ‘Discoverable by Others’ without explicit consent or a detailed explanation from Apple has led to discomfort and criticism from privacy-conscious users. Despite Apple’s reassurance that the feature does not compromise personal data, the notion of being ‘discoverable’ without an explicit opt-in has not sat well with many in the community​.

If you’re among the users uncomfortable with the ‘Discoverable by Others’ feature, disabling it is straightforward:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to Privacy and Safety.
  3. Select Journaling Suggestions.
  4. Turn off the toggle for Discoverable by Others.

This action will ensure that your device no longer signals your proximity to others using the Journal app, addressing the privacy concerns raised by the feature’s default activation​​.

The Journal app’s introduction and the subsequent revelation of ‘Discoverable by Others’ underscore the fine balance between technological innovation and user privacy. As Apple navigates these waters, user feedback and privacy concerns are likely to shape the future trajectory of such features.

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