Have you ever wondered if your boss is monitoring what you do on your company-issued smartphone?
According to recent reports, the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system – iOS 9.3 – alerts users when their iPhone is being monitored by their employer.
On Wednesday, Reddit user MaGNeTiX posted a screenshot of an iPhone running the iOS 9.3 beta, which is currently only available to developers. The image showed a message displayed on the lock screen which read, “This iPhone is managed by your organisation.”
According to the Reddit post, the user can also access the “Settings” menu to see a more detailed message about device tracking, which warns the user that whoever is monitoring the device can see their Internet traffic and location data.
It appears that the feature would only warn users they are potentially being watched. The Reddit post does not mention if there are any options listed for the user to increase privacy.
It’s also not clear if the feature would work for any type of monitoring. According to Mashable, the feature would work for devices set up through Apple’s Device Enrollment Program, which allows employers to register multiple iOS devices before handing them out to employees.
Just because the feature is being tested in the beta version of iOS 9.3 does not mean it will be available to users when the update launches.
Global News contacted Apple regarding the reports; however, a request for comment was not immediately returned.
While this type of feature may not be useful to those without a work-issued iPhone, the news comes at an interesting time for the tech giant.
The company is currently in the middle of a heated legal debate with the FBI over its request to hack a work-issued iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
The FBI has requested Apple to create special software enabling the FBI to bypass the built-in self-destruct feature that erases the phone’s data after too many unsuccessful passcode attempts. Apple has opposed the order stating it would create a dangerous “back-door” into the iPhone.
Employers have been known to install monitoring software on company-issued devices.
In May 2015, a California woman filed a lawsuit against her former employer after she was allegedly fired for deleting an app from her phone that allowed the company to track her whereabouts, even when she was off the clock.
The app, called Xora, allows companies to monitor mobile workers – in other words, anyone who isn’t in the office where their manager can see them.
iOS 9.3 is expected to be available to the public later this month.