Bugfix update: macOS can set location privacy again

Since macOS 13.5, it was no longer possible to determine which app was allowed to access location info. Now Apple has finally published an update out of the box.c

Apple has presented an important update for Ventura on Friday night. Version 13.5.1 of the Mac operating system fixes a so-called location privacy bug that had been around since late July. It was no longer possible to configure the location services because no apps appeared in the system settings. Now, a good three weeks later, Apple comes up with a fix.

720 MByte and three weeks later

“macOS Ventura 13.5.1 fixes an issue in System Preferences that prevents the display of location permissions,” Apple’s package insert succinctly states. On a test Mac, the update was just under 720 MBytes in size. A reboot is necessary for the installation, why the update was not implemented as a quick update (“Rapid Security Response”) remains unclear – as well as why Apple took so long for it.

The only setting option that was still available under macOS 13.5 concerned the location access of system services. Applications that had previously been granted location access (or not) simply no longer appeared in the view, the list was completely empty. The problem affected all Macs and apparently slipped through Apple’s fingers when building macOS 13.5.

Important update with error

Yet macOS 13.5 was a very important update: Apple delivered almost 30 plugged security holes, including those that fixed bugs already exploited by attackers. Users therefore had no real choice: Either remain unprotected or live with the defective location data protection.

Now, the settings options reappear. They can be found under “Privacy & Security” as well as “Location Services”. Apple allows declaring access permissions for each app individually. System services that can see location data are also listed there. macOS 13.5.1 is installed via the update function in the system settings, as usual. This can be found in the “General” section. The installation should take about fifteen minutes. Afterwards, you should check whether the location data protection really works again.

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