After months of waiting since the announcement at the WWDC20, iOS 14 is finally here! Apple comes out with a major iOS update every year, but this year’s update is special. Apple has completely reimagined everything in iOS 14. From introducing major changes to the Home screen with App Library and widgets to bringing App clips that completely change the way we use apps, a lot is different, and dare we say, better, in iOS this year.

And one of the major changes in iOS 14 is that it’s offering a lot more transparency and control over our data and privacy with its new privacy features. The “Green Dot” that you might be seeing on your iPhone running iOS 14 is part of this new initiative.

How will the Green Dot offer more control over my Privacy?

Well, one of the sad truths of our time is that companies have no respect for our privacy. They sell and monetize our data, and use our cameras and microphones shamelessly to spy on us. But Apple is not one of those companies. In fact, it has previously expressed disgust at companies who follow these practices.

The Green Dot is just another tool Apple is adding to our arsenal to keep these apps from spying on us. This tiny green dot that appears on the right side of the notch (or upper right corner of the screen on older iPhones) materializes only when an app is using your camera or microphone.

So whether you’re simply using the Camera app, making a call, or using the two in any other app, the green dot will pop up on your screen right away. You can even review what apps recently used the camera or microphone from the Control center.

This green dot was already paramount in exposing an app that was using users’ camera without permission. Last month, people who were using the iOS 14 beta realized that the dot appeared even when they were simply scrolling through their feed on Instagram and not using the camera. Twitter went berserk with the discovery. Then, Instagram clarified that it was a bug and the app was not really spying on users.

But without this tiny little dot, it might as well have been spying on us, and we would have had no idea. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? Well, then it’s a good thing that it’s all in the past now.

The Green Dot on your iPhone is not just a dot. It’s the next step in making companies more accountable when it comes to our privacy and data. Now, no app can ever spy on you using your camera or microphone without it catching your eye.